Happy Independence Day Equatorial Guinea! The country will be celebrating its 52nd anniversary of Independence on October 12. This special day holds an important position in the history of Equatorial Guinea, as it marks the country’s freedom their former colonial masters. This is the day when Equatorial Guinea finally gained complete independence from Spain after being one of its colonies for nearly 300 years.
Equatorial Guinea celebrates its Independence Day on October 12, every year. It’s a small country located in Central Africa, which was once an African colony of Spain, called Spanish Guinea. The country struggled a lot and started an independence movement which included a series of activities whose ultimate aim was to end the occupation of Spain in Equatorial Guinea.
With increasing nationalist sentiment and intensifying pressure from the United Nations General Assembly, the journey to independence became clear-cut. On 12th October 1968, Spanish Guinea turned into Republic of Equatorial Guinea, with Francisco Macias Nguema as the first President.
When is Equatorial Guinea Independence Day in 2020?
Equatorial Guinea Independence Day 2020 falls on Saturday, 12 October.
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Equatorial Guinea Independence History: How Did Equatorial Guinea Gain Its Independence?
The colonial history of Equatorial Guinea dates back to 1471, when Portuguese explorers on their way to India, descended on the country and discovered the island of Bioko (then known as Fernando Pó).
Three years later in 1474, the colonization of the territory began when Portugal claimed the islands of Annobón and Fernando Pó (Bioko). The Portugals retained control of Equatorial Guinea for three centuries (300 years) until 1778, when the territory was ceded to Spain in return for land in South America.
When the Spanish Common War broke out in 1820, revolt powers took control of the state. The territory of Equatorial Guinea turned into a Spanish colony in 1900. After Spain’s control, the territory was known as the colony of Spanish Guinea.
In 1946, its status was raised to a province. In 1959, Spain endeavored fractional decolonization and divided Spanish Guinea into the provinces of Bioko and Rio Muni that compromised a Spanish overseas territory. However, the attempt failed badly.
With escalating pressure from Equatoguinean nationalists and the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the journey to independence was underway. In March 1968, Spain agreed to grant independence to Equatorial Guinea.
The First General Elections in Equatorial Guinea & The Marking Of Independence
A constitutional convention created an electoral law and draft constitution. A submission was held on August 11, 1968, and 63% of the electorate voted for the military the constitution, which furnished for an administration with a General Assembly and a Supreme Court with judges designated by the president.
In September 1968, Francisco Macías Nguema became elected as the first president of Equatorial Guinea, and the nation was granted complete independence on October 12, 1968 – marking the Independence Day of Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Francisco Macías Nguema served as the country’s president for 12 years until he was displaced by his own nephew Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in 1979 and ultimately executed!
Equatorial Guinea Nation Flag & Symbols
The National Flag of Equatorial Guinea was adopted on August 21, 1979. The flag is a horizontal tricolor with stripes of green, white and red, and also a blue triangle at the hoist. Centered in the white band, is the National Coat of arms of Equatorial Guinea.
Here’s what Equatorial Guinea’s Flag represents:
- Green Color – represents the country’s national resources, agriculture, and jungles
- White Color – the white band in the center symbolizes peace and unity
- Red Color – symbolizes the blood shed by the fighters for independence
- Blue Isosceles Triangle Δ – represents the sea, which connects the country with the islands
- Six Stars ☆ – represent the country’s mainland and five islands
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Equatorial Guinea Independence Day Celebrations: How Independence Day is Celebrated in Equatorial Guinea?
Equatorial Guinea Independence Day is celebrated every year on October 12. The day is a national holiday widely celebrated throughout the country. It’s marked with colorful parades, firework shows, official speeches and ceremonies, and other festive events. Here’s how Independence Day is celebrated in Equatorial Guinea:
Equatorial Guinea celebrates its autonomy with a national holiday. The center of independence day celebrations is Malabo, the country’s capital city. The National Day of Equatorial Guinea begins with special prayers for peace, progress, and development in the country, followed by a gun-salute in the capital.
Early in the morning, the National Flag of Equatorial Guinea is hoisted at all important public and private buildings. There’s a special military parade which represents the country’s strong armed forces and display of latest and advanced armories.
The Independence day parade is followed by ceremonies and speeches by key officials. There are special seminars to pay homage to Equatorial Guinea’s ancient leaders and fighters who devoted their lives to throw colonial masters out of their beloved country and struggled for a ‘Free & Independent’ Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
On this special day, the President along with other high-profile government officials, pay special guard of honor to all those political leaders, civil servants, and ordinary men and women, who contributed their lives to the building of an Independent Nation.
Military personnel, politicians, students, teachers, and workers, actively take part in the Independence Day Parade in the capital city of Equatorial Guinea. The parade features a display of armories, parachute jumps, and samba dancing, with thousands of people attending it.
While many Equatoguineans head out to the capital to see the Independence Day parades, some also visit recreational spots to have a great picnic with their families and friends. Colorful firework shows and open-air performances further glorify the event and are a staple of Independence Day.
The Independence Day in Equatorial Guinea is a proud day for the nation and every Equatoguinean. The event is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. The day reminds Equatoguineans the unforgettable struggle and sacrifices made by their forefathers for next generations to live in freedom.
Equatorial Guinea Independence Day: Public Life & Holiday
October 12 marks the day in 1968 when the country gained independence from Spain. Equatorial Guinea celebrates its autonomy with a national holiday. A public holiday is observed across the country. All government and non-government organizations, schools, institutes, and offices remain closed, and many Independence Day celebrations are held in honor of this day.
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Equatorial Guinea FAQs: Answers To All The Commonly Asked Questions
Want to know more about Equatorial Guinea? There are many interesting things to know about this unique country. Nonetheless, we have provided different facts about Equatorial Guinea to keep you anchored for further exploration.
Who Ruled Equatorial Guinea?
Equatorial Guinea was ruled by Portuguese for 300 hundred years, followed by a 68-year colonial rule by Spain.
Are Equatorial Guinea and Guinea the same countries?
It’s a frequently asked question that if Guinea and Equatorial Guinea the same countries? They are certainly two different countries, one in West Africa and one in Central-West Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea. The map of Africa will tell you that these countries are not even close.
What do you call someone from Equatorial Guinea?
The people of Equatorial Guinea are called Equatorial Guinean or Equatoguinean.
What are the famous dishes of Equatorial Guinea?
The people of Equatorial Guinea love eating:
- Chicken served in a peanut butter or cream sauce with boiled plantain or rice
- Meat or grilled fish served with crushed pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, yams, plantain or Cassava which is also their staple food
*The national dish of Equatorial Guinea is Succotash – a dish of lima beans and mix vegetables sauteed together with fresh hubs and butter.
What do people wear in Equatorial Guinea?
The Equatoguineans wear Western-style clothes. Mostly bright colors are preferred. Women wear pleated skirts with African embroidery, blouses and polished shoes. Men wear shorts, jeans, and tee-shirts.
What’s the climate of Equatorial Guinea?
A tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons
What’s the culture of Equatorial Guinea?
The culture of the country is heavily influenced by ancient rituals and sons. Music, dance, and arts are the core of Equatorial Guinea.
Interesting Facts about Equatorial Guinea:
- 93% of the population here is Christian and a majority of them practice Roman Catholics
- The country attained independence in 1968, but it still retains its European influence, which is portrayed in its architecture and language
- It is the only independent nation in Africa where Spanish is an official language. Many people also speak French
- The country was a breath away from economic collapse and was once rated as the most underdeveloped countries in Africa, but the discovery of natural resources such as petroleum and gas reserves in the Gulf of Guinea has strongly supported the country’s trembling economy. Due to the discovery of natural resources, the country has attracted investments from the U.S and many oil companies.
- The country is not yet fully developed, but with the discovery of petroleum and natural gas reserves, steps have been taken to pave the country’s main roads, improve the electrical systems, establish high-profile institutes, and luxury hotels in the country. The country is taking steps to modernize the state and working for a modern and sophisticated Guinean working class – all thanks to huge investments by oil companies and the U.S
- Equatorial Guinea gained international prominence for swimmers Paula Barila Bolopa, and Eric Moussambani, who gained fame at the Summer Olympics
- Football is a widely-played sport in Equatorial Guinea. Their national football team has made quite a few impacts like qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 2006 as well as the African Cup of Nations
- Equatorial Guinea is chosen to host the 12th African Games in 2020