Political system

Since 12 October 1968, Equatorial Guinea has been independent from Spain (and also since 1968 a member of the UN). It has observer status in the WTO (World Trade Organization). Since 1985, Equatorial Guinea has been a member of the Central African franc zone. It is a founding member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). Since 1999, this country has been a member of the Central African Economic Community (CEEAC) and OHADA (Organisation pour l'Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires - EN: Organisation for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa".

The government headed by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is currently pursuing recognition on the international level. The basis for the foreign policy currently in place in Equatorial Guinea is the willingness to maintain friendly relations with all nations regardless of their political orientation; this manifested itself in numerous trips abroad during 2009. Five UN organisations maintain branch offices in Malabo. The parliament of the Economic and Currency Community is also located in Malabo.

Equatorial Guinea maintains intense relations with the former colonial power of Spain - the country's most significant trade partner. France and Spain are the only European countries which maintain embassies in Equatorial Guinea.

Due to past crude-oil finds, the U.S. has intensified its relations with Equatorial Guinea, opening an embassy in 2003 in Malabo (which has since been closed). The U.S. is a major partner, primarily due to its involvement in the crude-oil trade. China is another country which is increasingly solidifying its relations with this supplier of crude oil and tropical wood. Chinese companies have taken on numerous construction contracts.

Bata - a coastal city in Africa
Bata is the capital city of the mainland region Mbini in the territory of Equatorial Guinea and of the province Litoral.

As of 2008, Bata had approximately 207,765 residents - and is the country's largest city.

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Bild mit Elefanten © Janine Grab-Bolliger / PIXELIO / www.pixelio.de