Equatorial Guinea approves Portuguese as its third official language

12 October 2011

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, 12 Oct – The National Assembly of Equatorial Guinea has approved Portuguese as the country’s third official language, a step that is required to fulfil the government’s wish to be a member of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), officials said in Malabo Monday.

The proposed law, which was put forward by the deputy Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Francophony minister, Eustáquio Nseng Esono, was approved by 99 of the 100 members, the exception being Plácido Micó, the secretary-general of the Social-Democratic Convergence Party (CPSD).

Nseng Esono told members of parliament that the law that recognises Portuguese as an official language is “a political decision that is justified by the cultural and strategic ties that unite Equatorial Guinea to Portuguese-speaking countries.”

French, the language that the parliament approved as the country’s second language, in September 1997, has been a “working language” since the country became a member of the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UDEAC), now the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), two institutions supported by the French government.

Equatorial Guinea, which has Spanish as its first official language, plans to change its observer status within the CPLP to become a full member. (macauhub)