flag Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Equatorial Guinea’s strong reliance on oil (90% of export earnings) keeps pulling the economy into recession. The country’s GDP decreased by 4.9% in 2020 (the eighth consecutive recession year) due to the drop in global demand and oil prices occasioned by the Covid-19-led crisis, coupled with the contraction in household consumption and the slowdown in business activities. The economy rebounded to 4.1% in 2021, supported by the completion of a large gas project and the post-pandemic global economic recovery, but it is expected to contract again to -5.6% in 2022 and -1.5% in 2023 (IMF). Growth should accelerate in 2024-2026 as energy production rises (The Economist Intelligence Unit).

As Equatorial Guinea was still fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic, the country was struck in March 2021 by massive accidental explosions in Bata, its largest city, that killed over 100 people and caused widespread damage (IMF). These shocks weakened public finances. Overall fiscal deficit increased from an estimated -3.2% GDP in 2020 to -11.5% GDP in 2021 (IMF). Thanks to consolidation efforts, it is expected to decrease to -1% GDP in 2022 and -0.1% in 2023 (IMF). The debt-to-GDP ratio narrowed from 48.9% in 2020 to 42.7% in 2021, but it is expected to rise to 45.4% in 2022 before decreasing to 44.4% in 2023 (IMF). Inflation shrank from 4.8% in 2020 to 0.5% in 2021, and it is expected to rise again to 3.1% in 2022 and 2023 (IMF). In September 2021, the IMF approved Equatorial Guinea’s request for emergency assistance equivalent to about USD 67.38 million under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), to help tackle immediate humanitarian needs. The authorities remain committed to bring the Extended Fund Facility-supported program approved in December 2019 back on track, but are focusing on outstanding structural measures (IMF). To safeguard macroeconomic stability, promote inclusive growth and fight corruption, the authorities need to accelerate reforms, which include accelerating privatizations, approving anti-corruption regulations, strengthening banking sector stability, safeguarding social spending and improving public financial management (IMF).

Despite a high GDP per capita attributed to oil operations (USD 17,000 PPP – the country is classified as upper-middle-income by the World Bank), Equatorial Guinea still records an alarming level of poverty, with a large share of the population still lacking access to clean water and healthcare. According to World Bank estimates, the unemployment rate reached 9.9% in 2020. The UNDP ranked the country 145th in the world in its 2020 Human Development Index, the world’s biggest gap between per capita wealth and the human development score.

 
Main Indicators 201920202021 (e)2022 (e)2023 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 11.42e10.0412.5312.0712.18
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) -6.0e-4.94.1-5.6-1.5
GDP per Capita (USD) 8,3947,1378,6268,0597,887
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 43.048.942.745.444.4
Inflation Rate (%) 1.24.8-0.14.03.9
Current Account (billions USD) -0.69-0.63-0.53-0.63-0.47
Current Account (in % of GDP) -6.1-6.3-4.2-5.2-3.8

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data


 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BEAC (XAF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 GHS 148.62133.80121.19112.67102.86

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

Main Sectors of Industry

 
Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 39.5 19.4 41.1
Value Added (in % of GDP) 3.0 45.2 51.7
Value Added (Annual % Change) 0.5 -6.1 -3.1

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 

The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 508,608529,668539,283

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 63.06%63.02%63.19%
Men activity rate 68.00%67.90%68.08%
Women activity rate 56.04%56.05%56.17%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 

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Indicator of Economic Freedom

Definition:

The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Score:
49,2/100
World Rank:
163
Regional Rank:
41

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation

 
 

Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Not Free
Political Freedom:
7/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
164/180

Source: World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Allafrica.com, Equatorial Guinea news
ICICEMAC, Equatorial Guinea news (only in French)
Equatorial Guinea BBC Media Profile
Useful Resources
Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Mines and Petroleum
Bank of Central African States
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2022