Independence Day In Equatorial Guinea

flagWednesday was the 48th anniversary of independence for Equatorial Guinea. It was our first time experiencing this uniquely cultural event. It was a national holiday with all banks and schools closed and most stores. The holiday is similar to Independence Day in the U.S. There were celebrations, parades and festivals held in honor of the day to celebrate patriotism and pride for the country.

In March 1968, under pressure from Equatoguinean nationalists and the United Nations, Spain announced that it would grant independence to Equatorial Guinea. A constitutional convention produced an electoral law and draft constitution. A referendum was held on August 11, 1968, and 63% of the electorate voted in favor of militarythe constitution, which provided for a government with a General Assembly and a Supreme Court with judges appointed by the president.

In September 1968, Francisco Macías Nguema was elected the first president of Equatorial Guinea, and independence was granted on October 12, 1968. Nguema served as President until he was displaced by a coupe in 1979 and ultimately executed.

Before independence in 1968 Spanish Guinea had been a colony of Spain since 1926. Equatorial Guinea was one of 32 African countries which gained independence from European control between 1960 and 1968.