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Trip PlannerAfrica  /  Equatorial Guinea  /  Wele-Nzas Province

Wele-Nzas Province

Wele-Nzas Province is a province in the eastern portion of continental Equatorial Guinea. Its capital is Mongomo. It borders Centro Sur Province to the west, Kié-Ntem Province to the north, and Woleu-Ntem Province of Gabon to the east and south. As of 2015, the population of the province was 191,383.HistoryThe earliest settlers of Wele-Nzas, and the only inhabitants of the region for nearly 15,000 years, were the Byele people. Bantu migration ultimately displaced the Byele, and during the 20th century the last of the Byele migrated to Cameroon. The Fang people ultimately became the predominant ethnic group in the province. As European explorers mostly avoided the interior of Equatorial Guinea, there are few accounts of the region in early European histories; even the Spanish governors of the region did not visit Wele-Nzas until the official formation of Spanish Guinea in 1926.Wele-Nzas has played an important role in post-independence Equatoguinean history as the home province of both of the country's presidents, Francisco Macías Nguema and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. From 1975 until the 1979 Equatorial Guinea coup d'état, Macías led his totalitarian rule of the nation from his hometown of Nsangayong on the border with Gabon. Obiang has initiated several major infrastructure projects in the province, including a new airport and conference center in Mongomo. Oyala, the planned future capital city of Equatorial Guinea, is also being built in Wele-Nzas.
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