Coming into power in October 1979, President Obiang and his new Government faced incredible challenges. In 1968 Equatorial Guinea, until then an agriculturally based colony of Spain, won its independence. The nation immediately fell into a dictatorship and steep decline. President Obiang inherited a country that had lost two thirds of its population, where schools and churches had been closed, and the central government was in bankruptcy.
Since then, under President Obiang’s leadership, Equatorial Guinea has developed into one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a 20% growth rate in 2006, and a gross domestic product (GDP) of over $25 billion dollars. At the same time the population has steadily grown at approximately 2% per year, schools are open, and the country has its first local university and one of the best hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past decade, Equatorial Guinea has made distinct, measured efforts towards becoming a just and open constitutional democracy.
Opening the Government of Equatorial Guinea to international scrutiny has built a stronger democracy that is more responsive to its people’s needs. The government has focused its ongoing development initiatives on five specific sectors: civil society, political development, economic development and diversification, humanitarian and social development, and security.