Last updated in April 2015
After President Obiang assumed power in 1979, bilateral relations between Germany and Equatorial Guinea improved. Under his predecessor, the dictator Macias, there had been only sporadic contacts.
Equatorial Guinea opened an embassy in Berlin in 2005. In 2009, Equatorial Guinea’s then Foreign Minister Pastor Micho Ondo Bilé held talks in Berlin with his German counterpart Steinmeier, then Federal Economics Minister zu Guttenberg and the Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the States of West and Central Africa, Hartwig Fischer.
Germany opened an embassy in Malabo in September 2010. Then Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Cornelia Pieper visited Malabo and Bata in November 2010 accompanied by a 30-member business delegation.
Equatorial Guinea views Germany as a preferred partner in its efforts to promote the country’s economic development.
Bilateral trade relations have developed unevenly. They peaked in 2008 as a result of German oil imports. While German trade with Equatorial Guinea was worth just EUR 36 million in 2005, it reached EUR 127.7 million in 2008, fell to EUR 26.8 million in 2009, then rose again to EUR 107.1 million in 2013 and was worth EUR 81.6 million in 2014.
German exports to Equatorial Guinea were worth approximately EUR 19.4 million in 2014, and imports from there around EUR 62.2 million. Germany’s principal exports to Equatorial Guinea are beverages, manufacturing plant, machinery and motor vehicles. Its main imports from there are oil and chemical products.
The oil boom in Equatorial Guinea has enabled the government to spend a great deal on infrastructure and all kinds of construction projects. It also offers business opportunities for German companies, but doing business there involves considerable risks. A German company has built an airport near Mongomo in mainland Equatorial Guinea. In 2010, the German partner withdrew from a major natural gas liquefaction project.
A German company is a shareholder in one of Equatorial Guinea’s banks.
German Lufthansa began operating flights to Malabo in April 2008 and since March 2012 has operated daily flights to there from Frankfurt with a stop-over in Abuja, Nigeria.
Germany provided development cooperation until the mid-1990s. Since then, Equatorial Guinea’s development has not been reliant on external funding thanks to the country’s revenue from oil and natural gas.
There are scarcely any cultural relations between Equatorial Guinea and Germany. Germany has no cultural institute there and there are only a few former scholarship holders that received funding from Germany. German is not taught at any of the country’s schools or universities.
In recent years, the German Embassy in Malabo has, in cooperation with other cultural institutes, organised several film weeks, set up a language course, mounted an exhibition on the history of German engagement in Equatorial Guinea and equipped a girls’ football team with jerseys and balls.