Equatorial Guinea gains Independence from Spain

Saturday, 12 October 1968

The colonial history of Equatorial Guinea dates back to 1471 when Portuguese explorers descended on the country. On their way to India, Portuguese explorers discovered the island of Bioko, and later colonized the islands of Fernando Poo and Annobon. They retained control of Equatorial Guinea until 1778, when the territory was ceded to Spain in exchange for land in South America. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1820, rebel forces took control of the colony. The mainland of Equatorial Guinea became a Spanish colony in 1900.

With increasing nationalist sentiment and escalating pressure from the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the journey to independence was underway. On 12 October 1968, Equatorial Guinea became an independent state with Francisco Macias Nguema as the first President.


  1. Boddy-Evans A. (12 October, 2007), ‘Equatorial Guinea Gains Independence from Spain’ from African History [online] Available at www.africanhistory.about.com [Accessed: 31 August 2011]
  2. Schippke W. ‘Annabon Island (Pagalu)’ from 425dxn.org [online] Available at www.425dxn.org [Accessed: 31 August 2011]

Last updated : 11-Oct-2016

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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