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Malabo

From Academic Kids

Malabo is the capital city of Equatorial Guinea, located on the northern coast of Bioko Island (formerly Fernando Poo). Its population has grown rapidly over the past ten years to about 100,000. Malabo is located at 3°45' North, 8°45' East (3.75, 8.75).

The city was first founded by the British in 1827, who leased the island from Spain during the colonial period. Named Port Clarence, it was used as a naval station in the effort to suppress the slave trade. Many newly freed slaves were also settled there, prior to the establishment of Sierra Leone as a colony for freed slaves. While many of them later relocated to Sierra Leone, some of their descendants, called Fernandinos, can still be found in Malabo and the surrounding area, where they constitute a distinct ethnic group, speaking their own Afro-Portuguese pidgin dialect.

When the island reverted to complete Spanish control, Malabo was renamed Santa Isabel'. It was chosen to replace the mainland town of Bata as the capital of the country in 1969, and was renamed Malabo in 1973 as part of President Francisco Macas Nguema's campaign to replace European place names with "authentic" African ones.

During his "reign of terror," Macas Nguema led a near-genocide of the country's Bubi minority, which formed the majority on Bioko Island, and brought many of his own tribespeople, the Fang to Malabo. In the final years of his rule, when Equatorial Guinea was sometimes known as the "Auschwitz of Africa," much of the city's population fled as, indeed, about one-third of the country's population. Malabo has yet to recover from the scars of that period.

Changes since the discovery of oil

Malabo has been significantly affected by Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo's growing cooperation with the oil industry. The country's production has reached 360,000 barrels/day as of 2004, an increase which had led to a doubling of the city's population [1] (http://allafrica.com/stories/200212160112.html).

Oil has also led to the first regularly-scheduled service between the United States and the city, a weekly flight [2] (http://www.sonairsarl.com/scheduleDSTon_en.shtml)[3] (http://www.houstonairportsystem.org/news/?id=100) by Houston Express, a private charter air service formed by an agreement between SONANGOL, Angola's national oil company, and World Airways [4] (http://www.angola.org/referenc/pressrel/hepr053000.html).

Notable buildings in Malabo include Malabo Cathedral and the Malabo Court Building. The city is also home to an international airport, while ferries sail from its port to Douala and Bata.ca:Malabo de:Malabo es:Malabo he:מלאבו io:Malabo it:Malabo nl:Malabo pl:Malabo sv:Malabo pt:

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