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Malabo(mälä`bō), city (1997 est. pop. 50,000), capital of Equatorial Guinea, on Bioko island, in the Gulf of Guinea. It is the chief port and commercial center of Bioko. Fish processing is the city's main industry, and cacao and coffee are the leading exports. Malabo was founded in 1827 by the British on land leased from Spain as a base for the suppression of the slave trade and was called Port Clarence, or Clarencetown; the Spanish later called the town Santa Isabel. An international airport is on the city's outskirts. Much of the city's large European population left after rioting occurred in the late 1960s; in the 1970s, the population declined again as Nigerian workers returned to their own country.
(Santa Isabel until 1973), the capital of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Located on the island of Macías Nguema Biyogo (former name, Fernando Póo). Malabo has an equatorial climate with an average annual temperature of 25.4°C and a precipitation of about 2,000 mm a year. Population, 37,200 (1970).
The city is run by an elected municipal council; the council’s executive body is a junta headed by the mayor, who is appointed by the government.
Malabo was founded in the 1820’s by the British as the settlement of Port Clarence and was renamed Santa Isabel in 1843, after the establishment of Spanish rule over Fernando Poo Is-land. The administrative center of the Spanish colony of Spanish Guinea until 1968, the city became the capital of the independent Republic of Equatorial Guinea on Oct. 12, 1968. In 1973 it was renamed Malabo after the chief of the Bubi tribe who had headed the struggle against the colonialists. A port on the Bight of Biafra of the Gulf of Guinea, Malabo has an airport and is the site of sawmilling, woodworking, and the production of palm oil and soap. Cacao beans, coffee, vegetables, fruit, and lumber materials are exported.