Head of State Portuguese will be the third official language of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, headed by the President of the Nation, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and the Prime Minister Head of Government, Ignacio Milam Tang, have given their approval to the presentation of the new Draft Constitutional Law that will permit making Portuguese an official language of the country, together with Spanish and French. The ratification of this draft law in the House of People’s Representatives is the only step lacking for its final approval.

20/07/2010

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, headed by the President of the Nation, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and the Prime Minister Head of Government, Ignacio Milam Tang, have approved and presented the new Draft Constitutional Law that will permit making Portuguese an official language of the country, together with Spanish and French. Its approval in the House of People’s Representatives is the only step lacking for its final ratification.

 

The historical and cultural legacy that Equatorial Guinea has with the Portuguese world is the principal motive for which, for several years, the Equatoguinean Government has considered the possibility of adopting Portuguese as an official language of the country. It must be taken into account that in the 15th century Portuguese sailors were the first Europeans to explore the area of the Gulf of Guinea, and they named what is known today as the Island of Bioko “Fernando Poo”, in homage to its discoverer. The Portuguese possessions that today form the territory of Equatorial Guinea passed to Spanish hands three centuries later, in 1777.

 

In addition to the chronicle that links Equatorial Guinea to its Portuguese roots, the relations with the Member States of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) improve daily, and are exceptionally positive with Brazil, Sao Tome and Principe, Portugal and Cape Verde. In fact, for several years, Equatorial Guinea has been an Associated Observer State in the CPLP, with views to its future membership with full rights. The visits of Obiang Nguema Mbasogo to Portugal and Brazil in recent years, and the recent official stay of the Brazilian President, Lula da Silva, in Malabo, together with the increase of business have irreversibly tightened the links between Equatorial Guinea and the countries of the CPLP.

 

Below we reproduce the complete text of the Draft Law prepared for its ratification in the Parliament:

 

Draft of CONSTITUTIONAL LAW NO. 2010 dated .....  Which modifies the Single Article of the Constitutional Law number 1/1998, dated January 21 which modifies the First Paragraph of Article 4 of the Fundamental Law of Equatorial Guinea ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

HAVING EXAMINED the Fundamental Law of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea;

 

HAVING EXAMINED also the Constitutional Law No. 1/1998 dated January 21 which modifies the First Paragraph of Article 4 of the Fundamental Law of Equatorial Guinea;

 

REAFFIRMING that the language in the vehicle and the communication link that unites the people from the principle of the interdependence of the States;

 

CONSIDERING that the sovereign Afro-Iberian dimension and the historical Portuguese-Hispanic tie constitute for Equatorial Guinea (Afro-Hispanic) a fundamental basis of cooperation in the economic, social, cultural, judicial-diplomatic and technical-scientific fields with the countries of the abovementioned tridimensional spectrum.

 

CONSIDERING also that the inclusion of Portuguese as an Official Language in Equatorial Guinea not only would contribute positively to the increase in the Afro-Iberian and Portuguese-Hispanic cooperation of nations, but would also reinforce to a great extent the relations of closeness, good neighbors and brotherhood that Equatorial Guinea maintains with a large number of Portuguese-Hispanic States, founding members of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), and

 

By virtue of this, duly approved by the House of People’s Representatives in its ...... Ordinary Period corresponding to the year two thousand ten.

 

I HEREBY SANCTION AND ENACT THIS LAW:

 

SOLE ARTICLE. This article modifies the Single Article of the Constitutional Law number 1/1998, dated January 23, which modified Article 4 of the Fundamental Law of the State, which remains with the following wording:

 

“The Official Languages of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea are Spanish, French and Portuguese. The aboriginal languages are recognized as integral parts of the national culture.”

 

ADDITIONAL PROVISION

 

The Government is authorized to adopt measures and programs that may be necessary and to propose or announce the pertinent provisions for the enactment and application of this Law.

 

REPEALING PROVISION

Any provisions of equal or lesser rank that oppose this Constitutional Law are hereby repealed.

 

FINAL PROVISION

This Constitutional Law will go into effect twenty days from its publication in the Official State Gazette.

 

I hereby decree, by means of this Constitutional Law, in Malabo on the ..... day of the year two thousand ten.

 

FOR A BETTER GUINEA

 

OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO,

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

 

IGNACIO MILAM TANG,

PRIME MINISTER HEAD OF GOVERNMENT