A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Equatorial Guinea


Under Spanish colonial rule for most of the modern era, Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968. At the time of independence, Equatorial Guinea had one of the highest per capita incomes and the highest literacy rates in Africa. Since independence, Equatorial Guinea has attracted investment from U.S. companies and the United States Government. With the increased U.S. investment presence, relations between the U.S. and the Government of Equatorial Guinea have been characterized by a positive, constructive relationship.

Modern Flag of Equatorial Guinea


United States Recognition of Equatorial Guinea, 1968.

On October 12, 1968, Equatorial Guinea gained independence from Spain. The United States recognized the independence of Equatorial Guinea when U.S. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Albert W. Sherer, Ambassador to Togo, to also act as Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea on October 28, 1968.

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1968.

Diplomatic relations were established on November 21, 1968, when Ambassador Albert W. Sherer presented his credentials to the government of Equatorial Guinea. Sherer also was accredited to Togo and was resident at Lomé.

Establishment of the American Embassy in Malabo, 1969.

The American Embassy at Santa Isabel (now Malabo) was established on August 1, 1969, with Albert N. Williams as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

Suspension of Diplomatic Relations by the United States, 1976.

The United States suspended diplomatic relations with Equatorial Guinea on March 14, 1976. The Department of State announced that the action had been taken after it learned the U.S. Ambassador, Herbert J. Spiro, and the U.S. Consul, had been declared personae non gratae, in what the Department termed an “unwarranted affront” to the two individuals and the U.S. government.

Resumption of Normal Diplomatic Relations, 1979.

Normal relations were resumed on December 19, 1979, when Mable Murphy Smythe presented her credentials as American Ambassador.

American Embassy in Equatorial Guinea Reestablished, 1981.

The American Embassy in Malabo was reestablished on June 11, 1981, with Joanne Thompson as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.

Closure of American Embassy in Equatorial Guinea, 1995.

Embassy Malabo was closed on October 31, 1995, and its functions were transferred to the Embassy in Yaounde November 1, 1995.

Reopening of the American Embassy in Malabo, 2006.

Recognizing the U.S.’s growing economic and political interests, the U.S. Government reopened Embassy Malabo in 2006. U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Donald J. Johnson presented his credentials on November 23, 2006, becoming the first resident ambassador in over ten years.