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When you think about Spanish-speaking nations outside the mother country of Spain – well, it’s all about Latin America, right? The answer is: not quite. Tucked away on West Africa‘s Atlantic coastline, Equatorial Guinea is the only country on the entire continent to have Spanish as its official language (alongside local African languages such as Fang and Bubi).

How in the world did this come about? Well, to cut a very long story short, after being initially discovered by Portugal in the 1470s, a 1778 treaty ceded the island of Bioko to Spain, followed in 1900 by another treaty which granted it the enclave of Río Muni on the nearby mainland; these territories were consolidated as Spanish Guinea in 1926, and in 1968 they finally became an independent country as Guinea Ecuatorial.

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