As Nigeria and Ecuador signed a visa-free pact on Wednesday to strengthen bilateral relations, it is imperative to know more about the South American nation and what we have in common.
Ecuadorian Ambassador to Nigeria, Deopoldo Rovayo, made the announcement in Abuja on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olukunle Bamgbose.
The envoy said, “The purpose of my visit is to further cement the bilateral relations between Ecuador and Nigeria.
“The two countries have agreed to sign an agreement to enable our citizens to visit one another without a visa. There are approximately about one thousand Nigerians living in Ecuador and the number would continue to rise.”
Below is a list of facts to know about Ecuador:
• Independence Day is August 10th
• Ecuador has been voted as the best country for expatriates for the second year running. Quality of life, cost of living and personal finances have all been cited as excellent reasons to up sticks and head to the equator. (Source: InterNations)
• Most of Ecuador’s income comes from petroleum and agriculture.
• Two of the most popular activities in Ecuador are soccer and dancing.
• Its official name is the Republic of Ecuador, literally meaning, the Republic of the Equator.
• The capital of the nation is Quito and its largest city is Guayaquil.
• Guinea pig, known as ‘cuy’, is considered a delicacy in Ecuador, its consumption seen as an ancient tradition.
• Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, accounting for up to 29% of all bananas exported in 2011.
• Ecuador is one of three countries created in 1830 following the collapse of Gran Colombia. After independence from the Spanish colony, the Viceroyalty of New Granada, the short-lived republic of Gran Colombia (1819–30) was created. It included the territories of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama as well as parts of northern Peru, western Guyana and northwest Brazil. (Source: Britannica)
• Ecuador on Tuesday got a $400m loan from the World Bank to help cut the fiscal deficit to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product from 7.2 percent by the end of the year.
• The dominant tribes include the Mestizos (people of European and Native American parentage), Europeans, Amerindians (native Ecuadorians) and people of African descent.
• There are at least 14 recognized languages spoken in Ecuador. Spanish is the official language while 13 indigenous languages are also recognized including Quichua and Shuar (Source: CIA Factbook)
• Ecuador is described as a developing nation with most of its income coming from petroleum and agriculture, according to Wikipedia.
• It is the only country with a constitution, which recognizes legally enforceable Rights of Nature.
• The dominant religion in Ecuador is Roman Catholicism.
• The official population figure as at 2016 is 16.39 million.
• Ecuadorian food consists mainly of soup and stews, corn pancakes, rice, eggs, and vegetables. Seafood is excellent, even in the highlands.
• Tubers, such as potatoes and yuca, are also an essential part of the Ecuadorian gastronomy, and plantains also generally accompany most plates, reveals AdventureLife.com.
• Charles Darwin visited Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands in 1835 and largely based his theory of evolution on the discoveries he made there, according to Darwin Online.
• The name of Ecuador’s president is Lenin Moreno, who was sworn in on 24 May 2017.
• Moreno is the world’s only leader currently serving Head of State in a wheelchair, according to Wikipedia.