• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Equatorial Guinea, Spain’s first and longest-held colony in sub-Saharan Africa, consists of Bioko Island and a continental region surrounded by Gabon and Cameroon. As of the 2010s, the two most prominent languages were Spanish and French, with approximately a dozen indigenous and tribal languages spoken in the country.

Early History

Equatorial Guinea’s establishment and history mirrored that of other African colonies. It experienced several colonial governments due to its geographic location and imperial geopolitics. Equatorial Guinea first appeared in the historical records as Fernando Pó, named after the first Portuguese explorer to reach it around 1472.

The territory remained firmly under Portuguese control after the papal Treaty of Tordesillas granted the Portuguese rights to the African continent. In 1778, the Portuguese agreed to cede the small colony to ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles