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Economy of Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea is a small country at the west coast of Central Africa. Despite a per capita GDP (PPP) of more than US$30,000 which is as of 2008 the twentieth highest in the world, Equatorial Guinea ranks 121st out of 177 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index.

Forestry, farming, and fishing are also major components of GDP. Subsistence farming predominates. Although pre-independence Equatorial Guinea counted on cocoa production for hard currency earnings, the neglect of the rural economy under successive regimes has diminished potential for agriculture-led growth. However, the government has stated its intention to reinvest some oil revenue into agriculture. A number of aid programs sponsored by the World Bank and the IMF have been cut off since 1993 because of corruption and mismanagement. No longer eligible for concessional financing because of large oil revenues, the government has been unsuccessfully trying to agree on a "shadow" fiscal management program with the World Bank and IMF. Businesses, for the most part, are owned by government officials and their family members. Undeveloped natural resources include titanium, iron ore manganese, uranium, and alluvial gold (Mining in Equatorial Guinea). Growth remained strong in 2005 and 2006, led by oil.

Energy development

After a slow start, Equatorial Guinea has recently emerged as a major oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea, one of the most promising hydrocarbon regions in the world. The main oil fields, Zafiro and Alba, both lie located offshore of Bioko island. Aggressive field development and promising exploration activities may raise production to nearly 300,000 barrels per day (48,000 m3/d) within 2 to 3 years (slightly above the current estimated production of Gabon) according to the official sources.

Since 2001 the government has created GE Petrol, a national oil company; and Sonagas, a national natural-gas company. The company EG LNG has been created to construct and operate the Bioko Island LNG plant and terminal. The plant began to operate in May 2007 and a second plant is now under development.

Animal husbandry

Cattle and poultry production is rapidly reaching its pre-independence levels of self-sufficiency with the financial help of the African Development Bank. However, production of domesticated animals is hindered by the presence of try panosomiasis and other tropical deterrents.

Fishing

The fishing industry gained strength through the 1980s and is now almost entirely modernized; a tuna processing plant went into operation in 1990. Annobón subsists almost entirely on fishing and retains its traditional preeminence in off shore whaling and turtle gathering. Bioko is also a major fishing center, the chief catches being perch, tuna, mackerel, cod, pike, shark, and crayfish. The country's own catch was about 3,500 tons in 2003.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Equatorial Guinea"

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