Equatorial Guinea, Economy and Government
Bioko, staple foods, exchange rate, French franc, sweet potatoes
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for 75 percent of the working population. The principal export crop is cacao, which is grown almost entirely on Bioko. Coffee is grown on the mainland, which also produces tropical hardwood timber, a leading export. Cassava and sweet potatoes are the staple foods. Local manufacturing industries include the processing of oil and soap, cocoa, yucca, coffee, and seafood. Large offshore oil deposits were discovered in 1995. The currency is the CFA franc (712 CFA francs equal U.S.$1; 2000 average). An exchange rate of 50 CFA francs equal to 1 French franc was enforced from 1948 until 1994, when the CFA franc was devalued by 50 percent.
Under the 1982 constitution, Equatorial Guinea was a single-party state. This governmental party was named the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea in 1987. A new multiparty constitution was approved by public referendum in 1991. It established an 80-member House of Representatives to replace the existing 41-member legislature. Under the constitution, the voters elect a president to a seven-year term and legislators to five-year terms.
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