Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea - Introduction - 14/Jan/2024

Nigeria vs Equatorial Guinea – Introduction – 14/Jan/2024


Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea are two African nations with rich histories and considerable natural resource wealth. Both located in West Africa, these countries share certain socio-economic and political characteristics, influenced by their colonial legacies, geographical locations, and ethnic diversities. They also bear significant disparities in their political systems, economic structures, and demographic makeup. This article provides an in-depth comparison between the two countries in socio-cultural, economic, and political aspects.

Historical Background


Nigeria traces its history to approximately 11,000 BC, with the earliest known civilization, the Nok, as evidence. Over centuries, various kingdoms and empires, such as the Kanem-Bornu and the Oyo Empire, among others, dominated the region. The British colonized Nigeria in the late 19th century, and Nigeria gained its independence in 1960.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea’s history is less documented, with the first known inhabitants believed to be Pygmies. The Fang people, who still make up a large part of the population, migrated to the region around the 17th century. The Portuguese initially claimed the territory, but it came under Spanish rule in the late 18th century. Equatorial Guinea gained independence from Spain in 1968.

Socio-Cultural Comparison


Nigeria is culturally diverse, with over 250 ethnic groups, the largest being the Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. English is the official language, reflecting the country’s British colonial past.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea, though smaller, also exhibits ethnic diversity, with the Fang constituting the largest ethnic group. The official languages are Spanish and French, reflecting their Spanish colonial history.

Economic Comparison


Nigeria possesses huge oil reserves and is Africa’s biggest oil exporter. However, the economy suffers from an unbalanced structure that heavily relies on oil, which accounts for over 90% of the export earnings and about 60% of its total revenue.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is known for being one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest oil producers. Despite this, much of its citizenry live in poverty, a paradox often ascribed to corrupt governance and wealth mismanagement.

Political Landscape


Nigeria operates a federal presidential system under its 1999 constitution. Presidential elections are held every four years, demonstrating some level of political competitiveness despite challenges with corruption and electoral integrity.

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea, unlike Nigeria, struggles with autocracy. Despite being nominally a presidential republic, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has held power since 1979, making him Africa’s longest-serving current president.


  • Nigeria, with a population exceeding 200 million, is Africa’s most populous country, while Equatorial Guinea has a substantially smaller population of about 1.5 million.
  • Nigeria’s GDP (PPP) was $1.214 trillion in 2020, significantly larger than Equatorial Guinea’s $29.14 billion.
  • Nigeria was ranked 149 out of 180 countries in the Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, while Equatorial Guinea was ranked 168.
  • Despite having vast oil wealth, the World Bank reports that poverty is still prevalent in both countries. It estimates that 40% of people in Nigeria live in poverty, while Equatorial Guinea—in spite of having the highest GDP per capita in Africa—has over half its population living below the poverty line.
  • Image Description

    The chosen image for this article features the national flags of both Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea side by side against a backdrop of their respective capital cities—Abuja for Nigeria and Malabo for Equatorial Guinea. Also captured in the image are daily life scenes portraying socio-cultural and economic activities in these countries.

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