Around the 13th century struck the people catch and ndowe settled in the area now known as Rio Muni. They displaced the pygmy population (bayele), of which there are today only small groups. The Fang and Ndowe people also spread to the islands, which in the 15th century were referred to as “densely populated”.
After dividing Africa into colonies, Río Muni along with the islands came to be called Equatorial Guinea. The Portuguese, the Dutch and the English made ndowe the people their allies and middlemen in the slave trade, while the capt people who did not know slaves retreated to the jungle, convinced that the Europeans were human eaters.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the kings of Portugal perceived themselves as lords over Equatorial Guinea and conferred with the San Ildefonso and Pardo Treaties in 1777 and 78 the district of Biafra, to gain the right to the Spanish territories of southern Brazil. Yet they fought for the islands, which were initially occupied by French and British until Britain took full control and founded the first cities. They made freed slaves their agents and thus helped to create a leading class that continues to exist today.
In 1843-58, Spain militarily recaptured the area and its “rights” were recognized. Cocoa, coffee and timber became the country’s economic focal point, but it was controlled far away and not very efficiently. During the Spanish Civil War in 1936-39, the colonists supported General Franco, who subsequently gave them almost total power over the country. Admiral Carrero Blanco – Prime Minister of Franco – owned Equatorial Guinea’s largest cocoa plantation.
From 1963, the colony gained a form of internal autonomy that allowed the existence of 3 legal political organizations: MONALLY (Movimiento Nacional de Liberación de Guinea Ecuatorial, Equatorial Guinea National Liberation Movement), MUNGE, (Movimiento de Unión Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, Equatorial Guinea) and IPGE (Idea Popular de Guinea Ecuatorial, Equatorial Guinea People’s Idea). Meanwhile, international pressure on Spain increased, recognizing Equatorial Guinea’s independence, proclaimed on October 12, 1968.
After independence, IPGE leader Francisco Macías Nguema took over the presidential post in a coalition between IPGE and two important shelled groups of MUNGE and MONALIGE that emerged during the struggle for independence.
- According to AllCityPopulation, the capital city of Equatorial Guinea is Malabo with a population of 297,000 (UN estimate 2018). Other major cities include Recovery with a population of 455,000 (UN estimate 2020).
Almost one year after the takeover of power, Macías launched a violent suppression of the opposition, on the pretext of a supposed coup d’état. Thousands were sent to prison, murdered or disappeared and 160,000 sent into exile. While Amnesty International condemned the disappearance of two-thirds of the members of the National Assembly, Macías Nguema escalated the repression: all political parties were dissolved and replaced by the Partido Unico Tradicional de los Trabajadores (Workers Traditional Unity Party, POINT). He declared himself president of a lifetime and a top teacher in folk education, science and culture. The organization “Youth in March with Macías” was responsible for the spread of terror, and it extended to Catholic clergy and Protestant missionaries.