Housing Finance in Equatorial Guinea


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2021 Equatorial Guinea country profile, click here.

Equatorial Guinea is the only former Spanish colony in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The country consists of the mainland, Rio Muni, and small islands, including Bioko, the location of the capital, Malabo. According to the 2015 population census, the population is 1.2 million people. The country is bordered to the north by Cameroon, to the east and south by Gabon, and to the west by the Gulf of Guinea. The country is well endowed with arable land and mineral resources such as gold, uranium, diamonds, columbitetantalite, and notably oil, discovered in the 1990s.

The population density (people per km2 of area) in Equatorial Guinea was 46.67/km2 in 2018, according to World Bank figures. In many Sub-Saharan African countries, few houses are built and sold on the formal housing market. Instead, more than 90% of households are self-built. This trend is due to the low level of housing production by private and public developers and the high cost of new housing, which remains out of reach for the majority of the region’s population. Nonetheless, the state in Equatorial Guinea has invested significant resources in the construction of more than 9 000 housing units during its “social viviendas” public housing construction programme as quantified in 2019.

According to the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook (2020),7 Equatorial Guinea scored 1.92 out of 10 in 2018 based on 60 indicators in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index. This index ranked Equatorial Guinea 161 out of 167 countries, one of the most authoritarian governments in the world. Thus, the protection of associations such as unionisation, guaranteed by the constitution is rarely applied, leaving room for violence and intimidation by the government. Indeed, the country has not benefited from free-and-fair elections since independence and thus from a peaceful transfer of power. Legal safeguards are largely ineffective due to a poorly functioning judicial system and human rights defenders are often subject to repression and face administrative obstacles to registration. This is compounded by the high level of corruption in the country as the 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index is only 16 points out of 100, with an average of only 18.55 points from 2005 to 2018. In 2020, the same organisation ranks Equatorial Guinea 174 out of 180 for the same index.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector in Equatorial Guinea, including key stakeholders, important policies, and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2021 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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