Equatorial Guinea: No Equator, lots of oil…

Equatorial Guinea is an anomaly, in more ways than one, it the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, thus defying the Pope-sponsored Treaty of Tordesillas (or was it tortillas?) that divided the New World into spheres of influence between Spain and Portugal, which must have been the kiss of death, since both declined not long afterwards, leaving the seas to the likes of the Netherlands, France and that United Kingdom of World Cup fame..

But EQ came long after the Age of Discovery, unless you’re talking about oil, of which they are now the third-largest sub-Saharan producer on the continent, giving it the highest per cap wealth in that region, also. Too bad none of that wealth trickles down, since EQ has one of the worst rates of poverty, oppression and corruption to be found anywhere in the world…

People still survive somehow, though, don’t they, and that’s the case here, too, the Bubi (no jokes), Fang and other Bantu-speaking peoples, in addition to the ‘Fernandino’s and other creole types that date from the age of Portuguese possession (ex-Fernando Po). The country is divided into island and mainland segments, neither much bigger than a postage stamp, think Delaware, but now supporting a population of over a million souls…

So, it ain’t much of a country, but hope springs eternal, as they say. They say lots of things. I say I may yet get there one day, God willing, and the creek don’t rise. But why do these dirt-poor African countries have to be so expensive? That’s what I want to know…

 

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