In October 2011, the parliament of Equatorial Guinea was discussing a law to make Portuguese an official language. Originally a Portuguese colony before it was claimed by Spain in 1778, Equatorial Guinea has adopted Portuguese as the country's third official language in order to be allowed into the CPLP despite its limited historical and cultural commonalities with the other countries. It should however be noted that Portuguese is sparsely used throughout the country. Nevertheless, it was admitted into the CPLP in 2014. but not into the FORPALOP, the recently created institution that includes the PALOP.
These five African countries are former colonies of the Portuguese Empire, which collapsed shortly after the Carnation Revolution military coup of 1974 in Lisbon. The strains of the Portuguese Colonial War overextended and weakened the Portuguese dictatorship and precipitated the overthrow of Caetano's regime. Younger military officers, who were disillusioned by a war that was far-off and taxing, began to side with the pro-independence resistance against Portugal and eventually led to the military coup d'état on April 25, 1974. The long-lasting and often ineffective rule of the Portuguese colonial empire had varying effects on the African states even after they gained independence in the 1970s. The legacy of Portuguese empire-building pervades the postcolonial discourse that attempts to explain the development of the modern nation-state in Lusophone Africa and shed light on its failures.