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Africa’s only Spanish-speaking country is divided into two major regions – the island on which capital Malabo (which I covered here recently) is located, and larger Río Muni on the mainland, sandwiched between Cameroon and Gabon. Bustling port city Bata (pop. 173,000) is the capital of Litoral Province, which runs along West Africa’s Atlantic coast, and is the country’s economic capital, with a lot of domestic airlift to/from international gateway Malabo (which I wrote about on this blog fairly recently).
Occupied since Neolithic times this settlement’s history is one of complex migrations, with various African ethnic groups intermixing or displacing one another. The coastline, easily accessible by European traders and colonisers, inevitably also saw periods of occupation by powers including Portugal, the Netherlands, and of course latest and most lastingly, Spain.
This region has traditionally been home to the Ndowe ethnic group, but there has been a lot of Fang migration to the coast from the inland regions since the start of the 20th century, so you will hear all sorts of languages being spoken on the streets.
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