Last updated in May 2018
Bilateral relations between Germany and Equatorial Guinea improved after President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo assumed power in 1979. There had been only sporadic contacts under his predecessor, the dictator Francisco Macias Nguema.
Equatorial Guinea opened an embassy in Berlin in 2005. In 2009, the country’s then Foreign Minister Pastor Micha Ondo Bilé held talks in Berlin with Germany’s then Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, then Economic Affairs Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and the then 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.
Former Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office Cornelia Pieper visited Malabo and Bata in November 2010 accompanied by a 30-member business delegation.
High-level visits continued in 2017-18 with visits to Berlin by Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy, Agriculture Minister Victor Grange Meile and Energy Minister Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima. In addition, a high-ranking member of Equatorial Guinea’s Senate travelled to Germany in 2017 to follow the Bundestag elections.
Despite lowered expectations, Equatorial Guinea continues to view Germany as a preferred partner in its efforts to promote the country’s economic development and diversification.
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 36 million euros in 2005, it reached 99.4 million euros in 2015.
In 2017, German exports to Equatorial Guinea were worth approximately 14.9 million euros and imports from there around 98.1 million euros. Germany’s main exports to Equatorial Guinea are beverages, production facilities, machinery and motor vehicles. Its main imports from Equatorial Guinea are oil and chemical products.
The country’s oil boom enabled the Government of Equatorial Guinea to spend a great deal on infrastructure and all kinds of construction projects. It also offered and continues to offer – despite the recession – business opportunities for German companies, but doing business there involves risks. A German firm has built an airport near Mongomo in mainland Equatorial Guinea. German engineering firms are currently active in the country providing construction supervision services and as subcontractors in the gas facility engineering and telecommunications fields. In 2010, the German partner withdrew from a major natural gas liquefaction project.
Lufthansa began operating flights to Malabo in April 2008 and since March 2012 has been flying there daily from Frankfurt am Main.
Germany provided development cooperation until the mid-1990s. Since then, Equatorial Guinea has not qualified for support from this programme due to its high per capita income. Every year, the German Embassy supports a few microprojects in the areas of agriculture, biodiversity and education.
Cultural relations between Equatorial Guinea and Germany are based on initiatives by individuals and the German Embassy. Germany has no cultural institute in the country and there are only a few former scholarship holders who 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, mounted an exhibition on the history of German engagement in Equatorial Guinea and implemented measures to promote sport. It also organises guest performances by German artists every year. The concert tour of the German soul singer Y’akoto, which brought her to Malabo in December 2017, struck a particular chord with the public and the media.
In 2017-18, the German Embassy enabled young talents from Equatorial Guinea to participate in the Berlin International Film Festival and in the women’s football conference Discover Football. The Hessen State University of Art and Design conducted a workshop in Malabo, which was organised by the Heidelberg-based non-governmental organisation Bösöppe. In addition, a German photographer came to the country for a residency that focused on exploring the so-called Afrikazimmer (African Room).
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.