The natural wonders and hospitable inhabitants should have put Equatorial Guinea on the map years ago, but its reputation for political instability means that it remains an undeveloped mine for the time being. The political situation, hot and humid, is perhaps best known, and the natural beauty of the country occupied by the Soviet Union and its allies during the Cold War should not be associated with the idea of tourism. As a result, only a few international airlines operate out of Malabo, including Air France, Lufthansa, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Many of the airlines based there have been excluded from operating within the EU, leaving much to be desired.
Equatorial Guinea hopes to have some of the world's largest stranded gas reserves, the Rio Campo gas field, there. Perhaps the most important of these is the Yoyo - Yolanda gas condensate field, a gas reserve spanning the maritime border between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon, where Noble operates the YoyO and YOLanda gas fields - condensate fields on both sides of this dividing line. The border at Rio de Janeiro is open for several hours a day when Cameroon enters and leaves.
Equatorial Guinea has also proposed to separate the liquid from the Alen gas field in Punta Europa, the liquid of which goes to the Cameroonian Limbe refinery to extract gas for the Cameroonian project, and has promoted the idea of turning Zafiro into gas that feeds into the surrounding fields in Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte and Punta Europa. Equatorial Guinea to finance the early stages of exploration to open the region to drilling, the minister said.
The idea that Equatorial Guinea should become a regional hub in the long run has triggered a flurry of licensing rounds and activities, but it is not the familiar face of the Western oil sector that is bidding. A second round of licensing rounds for oil and gas production is planned for 2020, with a focus on deep-water areas, according to the Energy Department.
As regards the government's diktats, I would like to say it again: Equatorial Guinea is currently suffering something of an economic crisis. In other words, the suffering is so long that it could make the situation worse, and could also mean that this government suddenly needs foreign investors and must fight corruption to attract them. Corruption is rife around the world, but Equatorial Guinea's government has turned it into an art form. Equatorial Guinea has done its best to be a country governed by law in that country.
The steaming island of Bioko is located at the mouth of the Ogue River in the Gulf of Gabon, an area that stretches from the Niger Delta to its mouth and includes the islands of Corisco and Elobeyes, and the islands of Fernando Po and Annobon. It was formed tens of millions of years ago and was populated by plants and animals from Africa, who came to Europe by chance. Besides the capital, there are a number of other islands on the island of Biokos, some of which are at least 5,000 years old.
After Spain failed in its attempts to colonise the country with the huge colonies it already had in other parts of the world, it lost interest in Spanish Guinea in 1827 and did not authorise its use until the end of the 19th century. In British times, the British consul automatically became governor of this colony, including the "British mulattommen" who modernized the capital and the monument at Punta Fernanda, whose work was later recognized by Spain as a work of art.
On 16 June 1997, the government was dissolved and Severo Moto Nas, with British support, was appointed the new President of Malabo Equatorial Guinea. He was Prime Minister but was forced out of office on 17 June 1998 in a coup d'etat against him and his government.
Spain regained control of the island in 1855 and the capital Port Clarence was renamed Santa Isabel in honour of Queen Isabel II. The two countries together, called Spanish Guinea, gained independence from Spain in 1968 and emerged as the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The Spanish colonial government was based in the city, but Spain regained control of the islands in 1870. In 1881, after Spain gained independence from the United States, the capitals of both islands, Fernando and Po, became the cities of Equatorial Guinea, with the former capital Fernando Po as its capital.
The Museum of Modern Art of Equatorial Guinea had both traditional and contemporary art from countries on the continent. Activities include the International Film Festival, the World Film Tour and the Traveling Film Festivals of Africa.
The streets are one of the best places in the country to encounter the architectural splendour that remains from Spanish colonial rule. The streets of Malabar, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, and the centre of Gueckedou are atmospheric.