Global Politics

Africa's New Capital in the Jungle

The choice of a capital says a lot about a place.

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After the American Revolution, most of the 13 colonies moved their capitals inland, away from the coast.

It was a symbolic move, showing independence from the former colonial ruler — and Europe as a whole.

And it's been copied by many nations in Africa as they've gained independence.

For Monday's Geo Quiz we're looking for the latest African nation to create a capital out of whole cloth.

Most of this nation lies on the mainland of Africa, sandwiched between Cameroon and Gabon.

The capital has been Malabo, located on a large island off the coast of Cameroon.

This is where much of this nation's oil wealth can be found.

And it's oil money that's funding the new capital.

Here's one more hint – it's the only country in Africa that has Spanish as an official language.

The answer is Equatorial Guinea, and the new capital is to be called Oyala

The BBC's Stephen Sackur was just there, and says arriving there is "extraordinary. It feels a bit like arriving in Xanadu or some other mythical place."

Equatorial Guinea is oil rich, but most of its people remain extremely poor.

"So just imagine how they feel," says Sackur, "watching this construction going on around you."

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