Equatorial Guinea is a country located in Central Africa. With an area of 28,000 square kilometres (11,000 sq mi) it is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa. It is also the most prosperous, however the wealth is concentrated in government and elite hands, with 70% of the population living under the United Nations Poverty Threshold of $2/day. It has a population of 1,014,999. It comprises two parts: a Continental Region (Río Muni), including several small offshore islands like Corisco, Elobey Grande and Elobey Chico; and an insular region containing Annobón island and Bioko island (formerly Fernando Po) where the capital Malabo is situated.
Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the east is the mainland region. Equatorial Guinea is bordered by Cameroon on the north, Gabon on the south and east, and the Gulf of Guinea on the west, where the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe is located between Bioko and Annobón. Formerly the colony of Spanish Guinea, its post-independence name is suggestive of its location near both the equator and the Gulf of Guinea. It is one of the few territories in mainland Africa where Spanish is an official language, besides the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
Equatorial Guinea is the third smallest country in continental Africa in terms of population. It is also the second smallest United Nations (UN) member from continental Africa. The discovery of sizeable petroleum reserves in recent years is altering the economic and political status of the country. Equatorial Guinea has been cited as an example of the natural resource curse; its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranks 31st in the world; however, most of the country's considerable oil wealth actually lies in the hands of only a few people. Equatorial Guinea is one of the richest countries in Africa.
Out of 44 sub-Saharan countries, Equatorial Guinea ranks 9th in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI) and 115th overall, which is among the “medium” HDI countries.
Equatorial Guinea is in the process of becoming validated as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Compliant country, working toward transparency in reporting of oil revenues and the prudent use of natural resource wealth. The country is one of 30 Candidate countries and obtained Candidate status February 22, 2008. They met all required obligations to do so, including committing to working with civil society and companies on EITI implementation, appointing a senior individual to lead on EITI implementation, and publishing a fully costed Work Plan with measurable targets, a timetable for implementation and an assessment of capacity constraints. Equatorial Guinea held its 7th meeting of the EITI National Commission on January 30, 2010, during which steps were taken for the advancement of the implementation process.