Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish speaking country in Africa. This is because Equatorial Guinea was colonized by Spain. The small West African country had most of its territories under Spanish rule from 1844 to 1968.
Equatorial Guineans (also called Equatoguineans) attained independence in 1968. Portugal and the United Kingdom (UK) have also had control of several portions of Equatorial Guinea between 1474 and 1843.
This is the reason why most Equatoguineans also speak Portuguese – one of the official languages in the West African nation.
Q. Why aren’t there other countries in Africa that speak Spanish?
Because Spain didn’t have other colonies in Africa. The only regions of Africa that were occupied by Spain were Tarfaya and Cape Juby in Morocco, Western Sahara and regions of modern-day Equatorial Guinea.
Spanish Speaking Countries in Africa
Here are top 10 facts about the only Spanish speaking country in Africa, Equatorial Guinea.
- Equatorial Guinea is one of the richest countries in Africa with a GDP per capita of 11.027 billion USD in 2019. The country has large oil reserves. Moreover, Equatorial Guinea has been a member of OPEC since 2017.
- The territory of Equatorial Guinea includes two main islands that are located to the west of the country in the Gulf of Guinea. These are Bioko and Annobón. In addition, the Gulf of Guinea has several small islets that belong to the Western Africa nation. These are Elobey Grande and Little Elobey and Corisco.
- This is one of the smallest countries in Africa that has a land area of 28,050 km². Equatorial Guinea had a population of 1.35 million in 2019. The Gambia is the smallest country in Africa.
- Apart from Spanish, Equatoguineans also speak French and Portuguese languages. The country has 3 official languages, Spanish, French and Portuguese. However the people of Equatorial Guinea have many indigenous languages as well.
- Most countries have their capital cities on the mainland. But not in Equatorial Guinea. Malabo, the capital city, is located on the island of Bioko.
- Petroleum is the country’s main export commodity. However, Equatorial Guinea has several other natural resources, including timber, minerals such as diamonds, gold, bauxite, natural gas, uranium and manganese.
- The capital, Malabo, and Bata are the only major cities in Equatorial Guinea that have a population greater than 50,000 people. The others are small cities that each has a population under 10,000 people.
- Cassava is the main food in Equatorial Guinea. Other popular foods include fish, mangoes, bananas, yams and sweet potatoes.
- The Giraffe is the national animal of Equatorial Guinea. However the West African country is home to many other animals, most notably monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, leopards, elephants, crocodiles and hippos.
- Equatorial Guinea was a poor country before the mid-1990s. This changed when the country discovered oil in 1995 in off-shore regions on the Gulf of Guinea. This enabled the African country to quickly develop roads, airports and other modern infrastructure.
Are there other Spanish Speaking Countries in Africa?
Is there another country in Africa that speaks Spanish? The only other Spanish speaking regions in Africa where you are likely to encounter fluent Spanish speakers are Cape Juby in Northern Morocco and the Western Sahara. These two North African regions were also occupied and ruled by Spain in their past.