Definition of Youth

The African Economic Outlook (2012) refers to young people under the age of 25 in its study on youth unemployment in Equatorial Guinea.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 12
  • --
  • --
  • Female
  • 12
  • --
  • --

  • No data for marriageable age with parental consent. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
The CRC is concerned at the use of historic laws for age of responsibility. Source:  African Child Policy Forum Report
UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 97.73% Male (15-24) %
  • 98.80% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 24.93%Male %
  • 19.10% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 25.10% Male (13-15) %
  • 17.30% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Equatorial Guinea has no overall youth policy, and no specific policies on youth issues either.

Equatorial Guinea has no national youth policy and no in-depth policy reviews have been completed. The UNDP research programme, Support for Promotion of Youth Employment, aims to support an evidence-based approach to education and labour policy – explicitly within the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The National Economic Development Plan: Horizon 2020 commits finances to social development priorities including education, gender equality and community development as well as the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. UNICEF’s annual report (2010) notes a number of programmes aimed at issues that affect young people including HIV/AIDS, gender equality, alcohol and drugs, and juvenile justice. It also details technical support and training for public institutions and services.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The official webpage of the Government of Equatorial Guinea notes the existence of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which it is assumed has responsibility for youth affairs. Beyond this, the Ministry has no online presence. The UNDP research programme, Support for Promotion of Youth Employment, which began in August 2013, refers to the Ministry of Youth and Sports as having been formed only months previously. The project aims to support the new Ministry’s “active mandate.” However, it does not indicate what this mandate includes.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
According to the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe (2012), Equatorial Guinea is one of the “two countries in Central Africa that still lack national youth platforms.” Equatorial Guinea has signed the African Youth Charter, which according to Africa Youth “aims to strengthen, reinforce and consolidate efforts to empower young people through meaningful youth participation and equal partnership in driving Africa's development agenda.” However, it has not been ratified.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the World Bank, Equatorial Guinea spent 3.97% of its government expenditure and 0.60% of its GDP on education provision in 2002.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The African Economic Outlook (2012) notes that youth unemployment is a challenge:
The World Bank in 2010 estimated that between 2011 and 2020 from 25 000 to 49 000 young people will enter the labour market every year. About 60% of the population are aged under 25. But the economy is unable to generate enough jobs to deal with this growth in the active population. The oil sector accounts for 78% of GDP but only absorbs 4% of the workforce. Construction, one of the biggest employers of young workers, offers only short-term opportunities.  This state of affairs strengthens the informal sector and leads to the underdevelopment of the private formal sector. There is a continuing serious problem in access to information about jobs, in particular for the young, because there is no national employment agency or adequate information system collecting details about supply and demand at the national level. As a result those responsible for human resources in the private and public sectors sometimes seek to make a profit by offering jobs to the highest bidders.
There is no specific policy to promote youth employment. The National Economic and Social Development Plan (PNDES), which seeks to diversify the economy, envisages measures that indirectly help youth employment. The creation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be boosted by an improvement in the overall business climate. Policies to enhance access to credit should be encouraged from 2012 to help the creation of SMEs and private initiatives. A new law requiring the administration to take on young people with qualifications and university diplomas was partially put into practice in 2011. The law lays down a maximum quota of foreign workers that a business can recruit (30% of the work force in the oil industry and 10% in the non-oil sector).
Substantial progress has been made in secondary and higher education in recent years. Higher education is free and private education in the secondary sector is available and affordable. The basic secondary education programme (ESBA), launched at the beginning of the 2000s, has been completed and the amount of technical training increased, especially in the private sector. The government plans to create technical and vocational training centres in the seven provincial capitals. Two centres are already in operation, one at Malabo (800 students) and the other at Bata (624 students), both modernised between 2009 and 2011. A far-reaching reform of vocational training is under way to establish a better match with the needs of the labour market. Furthermore, a dialogue has been initiated between the government, employers and workers with the aim of finding a consensus on issues relating to the reform of higher education, employment contracts and a pay review.
Although progress has been made, the higher education system is still not in a position to provide the skills and expertise required by employers. Even though teaching is free higher education is only available in the two major population centres, Malabo and Bata. Young people in rural areas have, accordingly, to move to these cities to pursue higher studies. There is a high drop-out rate among girls, in particular because of pregnancy. The quality of secondary teaching still needs improvement. The few students who pass the school-leaving examination have trouble completing university courses because of the poor skills of the teaching staff and the lack of educational and teaching support. Young workers in the informal sector who are not at school and have no qualifications can get apprenticeship training.
The UNICEF Country report (2010) provides a situation analysis for children and women:
In general, the most disadvantaged children in Equatorial Guinea are those living in rural areas and the poor. Given the general lack of data on social indicators, it is difficult to distinguish disparities between different wealth quintiles. However, UNICEF observation and anecdotal evidence indicate that children living outside of the capital have very limited access to health and social services and constitute some of the most disadvantaged groups in the country. The successful implementation of the DHS currently underway will be a major step towards a better understanding of the disparities that affect children and women in Equatorial Guinea.
The Government approved a long-term development plan – the National Economic Development Plan: Horizon 2020 – in late 2007. The plan has the dual objectives of accelerating poverty reduction and creating the basis for Equatorial Guinea to become a modern emerging economy by 2020. The plan seeks to diversify the economy to create employment, reduce dependence on oil and enhance external competitiveness. The four main pillars are improvements in infrastructure, human capital, governance and social welfare. A Social Development Fund has been set up to support projects in education, health, water and sanitation, gender equality and community development. However, the funds committed by the Government to implement these projects had not been released as of late 2010.
The country will have to double its efforts to achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Poor health indicators show that the situation of women and children remains vulnerable. Maternal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Forty per cent of children under five are malnourished; 37% of child deaths are caused by malaria and the mortality rate of children under five is 123 per 1,000 live births; acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, malnutrition, parasitic diseases and typhoid fever endanger children’s health and lives.