The official name is the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. It's in central Africa, and is the only state in Africa where Spanish is the official language. There are two parts, the mainland, and a series of volcanic islands. Gabon and Cameroon border the mainland, and box in its rectangular shape.

It is one of Africa's largest oil producing regions and richest countries per capita. The government also has one of the lowest human rights records in the world. Few of the people feel the benefits from the oil industry. Half of them still don't have clean water, while twenty percent of the children die before they turn five. The country is also home to many victims of human trafficking.

History

Portuguese explorer, Fernando Po, was the first to find the main island in about 1472. He found it on his way to India, and named it after himself. Portugal colonized that island and one of the others -- Annobon. The main island is now Rio Muni, and the five islands are Corisco, Bioko, Elobey Chico, Elobey Grande, and Annobon. Bioko is the home of the country's capital, Malabo.

In 1778 the royalty of Portugal signed the islands over to Spain. During this time, the British had a slave trade base there. It moved to Sierra Leone after an 1843 contract with Spain. 1844 brought the French, moving to occupy the part of the country the Spanish left unprotected, and they stole it from Spain. In 1963 the island gained autonomy with the rising of moderate group, "Movimiento de Union Nacional de la Guinea Ecuatorial."

It acquired independence on October 12, 1968 and first elected president Macias Nguema.

Four years later he declared himself the country's president for life. In 1979 his nephew, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, deposed and executed him.

Oil

Oil was found in the country in 1995, and its government has benefitted ever since. It is now one of the highest grossing countries per capita in Africa [VIDEO]. Little of the profit has found its way to the general population, however. Many believe the dictator is taking the funds for himself and his allies.

Human rights disasters

Besides the allegations made, there have been more credible allegations of other abuses. These abuses include torture, random arrests, and unfair trials. They also include human trafficking. The country is the arrival point for many captured and abused women and children.

There is also nepotism at play. The vice-president of the country is the current dictator's son. This position will allow him to assume power if his father dies. The French indicted him for money laundering, and the United States has a case to settle too.

Languages

There are currently three official languages in Equatorial Guinea: Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Spanish became the first official language, followed by Portuguese, then French. To this day, this country is the only African nation whose official language is Spanish.