Equatorial Guinea Country Report
President Obiang Nguema's re-election in April 2016 with 93.7% of the vote and the ruling PDGE's overwhelming victory in the 12 November 2017 legislative, municipal, and senatorial elections cemented the Obiang family's absolute control over the levers of power. This further strengthened by the family holding key government positions. Despite a rapidly deteriorating economic situation, social unrest and protests remain rare because of the heavy-handed approach of security forces, the threat of reprisals, incarceration, and the lack of a well-organised opposition. The government's response to dwindling oil revenue (which represents more than 95% of export earnings) is likely to be the cancellation and delay of planned infrastructure projects, especially in the new capital city ofOyala.
Equatorial Guinea's economy is dominated by the hydrocarbons sector; there is little incentive to improve legislation or bureaucracy as opaque operating procedures favour the ruling elite's patrimonial system of control. Equatorial Guinea spent vast sums on improving its infrastructure, but many construction projects are affected by declining oil revenues. The labour force is relatively uneducated and lacking useful skills, forcing the country to import semi-skilled labour. Corruption is endemic at the highest level. Labour unrests are on the rise as salary arrears mount in many companies due to reduction of industry activity.
Evidence suggests that the kidnap of crews of support vessels closer to their bases is most probable, although the expanding oil and gas infrastructure on Bioko Island will continue to become opportunistic targets. The waters off Equatorial Guinea are within reach of Niger Delta-based pirates. In October 2017, six crew members of a Liberia-flagged containership were taken hostage off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, south of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, while en route from Malabo to Liberia's capital, Monrovia. The navy has been spending heavily to improve its capabilities in counteracting piracy, and the country has been playing an active part in regional counter-piracy initiatives and operations.
Periodic disputes with neighbouring countries, especially Cameroon, are likely to occur, particularly as Equatorial Guinea seeks ways to retain border controls and visa restrictions despite adoption by the regional economic bloc of a free movement agreement. The alleged December 2017 coup attempt, thwarted in the Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea border, as well as the town of Mongomo, on the border with Gabon, could potentially lead to border closings and strain bilateral relations, which had been gradually improving. Although these disagreements and the aftermath of the coup attempt could provoke exchanges of small arms fire between border officials, it is unlikely to deteriorate into anything more serious.
Despite a rapidly deteriorating economic situation, social unrest and protests remain rare because of the heavy-handed approach of security forces, the threat of reprisals, incarceration, and the lack of a well-organised opposition. Shortage of cash by the government is likely to impact particularly on students, who will hold sporadic protests over the non-payment of scholarships and stipends, but security forces will not allow these to spill into commercial areas or disrupt cargo. Occasional demonstrations are probable over the issue of economic migrants, with the threat of violence most acute in towns close to the borders with Cameroon and Gabon.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all individuals traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication : mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Foreign visitors should note that the long rainy season lasts from March until November and often leads to difficult road conditions. Poor driving habits, substandard road quality, poor vehicle maintenance, and the absence of efficient emergency services render travel by car relatively hazardous. It is therefore necessary to always wear a seat belt and to keep important insurance, medical, and identification documents on hand.
A number of local and regional airlines serving Equatorial Guinea are on the EU's blacklist, meaning they are not allowed to fly within European airspace due to substandard safety measures.
It should also be noted that outside of the country's main cities there are few, if any, hotels. Hotels in Malabo and Bata are satisfactory and rapidly being developed. Furthermore, sanitation standards at many restaurants in rural areas are inadequate.
Finally, power outages are common, particularly during the dry season (April to October).
Equatorial Guinea's climate is, unsurprisingly, equatorial, i.e. hot and wet (1.7 - 4 meters of annual rainfall). It rains more often in coastal regions. The rainy season lasts from May until October on Bioko Island (Malabo). A hot and dry wind (the “Tornado”) blows across the country from November until March. The ocean is warm and pleasant throughout the year.
|Malabo Central Police Station:||0927 79|
Due to a lack of staff and resources, police usually do not act outside their districts.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz