The Journal of African History



THE DECOLONIZATION OF EQUATORIAL GUINEA: THE RELEVANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL FACTOR 1


ALICIA  CAMPOS  a1
a1 Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Abstract

The demise of Spanish colonialism in Central Africa has to be understood as part of the general process of African decolonization. In accepting the methodological framework proposed by some historians for studying the collapse of European domination in the continent, we can explain the independence of Equatorial Guinea, in 1968, as a result of the interaction between three different factors: international, metropolitan and colonial. This article delineates the decolonization of the only Spanish colony south of the Sahara, its main argument being that, in the case of Equatorial Guinea, the international factor – specifically, the role of the United Nations – is fundamental to the understanding of the timing, the actors' strategies and the results.


Key Words: Equatorial Guinea; decolonization; nationalism.


Footnotes

1 This article is based on my Ph.D. thesis, ‘Política exterior, cambio normativo internacional y surgimiento del estado postcolonial: la Descolonización de Guinea Ecuatorial 1955–1968’ (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2000). A book derived from the thesis has just appeared: Alicia Campos Serrano, De colonia a estado: Guinea Ecuatorial, 1955–1968 (Madrid, 2002). The article was completed at the Centre of International Studies of the University of Cambridge and Sidney Sussex College thanks to a scholarship awarded by La Caixa-British Council during the academic year 2000–1. I would like to thank especially Francisco Javier Peñas, James Mayall, John Iliåe, John Lonsdale, Ramon Sarró, Elissa Jobson, Lloyd Rundle and all the participants in the African History Group in Cambridge and the Grupo de Estudios Africanos in Madrid for their kind help in producing this essay.