The first Europeans to set foot on Equatorial Guinean lands were the Portuguese in 1471. That year, the Portuguese Fernando Poo, who was looking for a route to India, placed the island of Bioko on European maps . Equatorial Guinea remained in Portuguese hands until March 1778, when it was ceded to Spain, who kept it as a protectorate until 1959, when an internal self-government was created
The long-awaited independence came in 1968, although during the first eleven years as an independent state, Equatorial Guinea was subjected to a brutal dictatorship: that of President Macias Nguema. On August 3, 1979, through a coup, the dictatorial regime of Macías ended and a military regime began, which would later give rise to a democratic regime led by the current President of the Republic, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. The general situation began to improve: the country benefited from the resumption of international assistance and became a full member of reputable international institutions, such as the Central African Economic and Customs Union (CEEAC). In 1985 it became a member of the French Monetary Zone.
On August 3, 1979, the dictatorial regime of Macías ended, giving rise to a democratic regime led by the current President of the Republic, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
In the 90s, large oil and gas reserves were found in the country, which generated that, in just a few years, Equatorial Guinea went from being an impoverished economy, mainly agricultural, to the leading oil producer in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) zone. This, added to the efficient management of the government of President Obiang, have made Equatorial Guinea a benchmark country in the West African region and increasingly positioned internationally.