Africa :: Gabon

Introduction ::Gabon

    El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009) following independence from France in 1960. President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in 2002-03 and the presidential elections in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Following President BONGO's death in 2009, new elections brought Ali BONGO Ondimba, son of the former president, to power. Despite constrained political conditions, Gabon's small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make it one of the more prosperous and stable African countries.

Geography ::Gabon

People and Society ::Gabon

Government ::Gabon

    conventional long form: Gabonese Republic
    conventional short form: Gabon
    local long form: Republique Gabonaise
    local short form: Gabon
    republic; multiparty presidential regime
    name: Libreville
    geographic coordinates: 0 23 N, 9 27 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem
    17 August 1960 (from France)
    Independence Day, 17 August (1960)
    adopted 14 March 1991
    mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Ali BONGO ONDIMBA (since 16 October 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Raymond NDONG SIMA (since 27 February 2012)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (no term limits); election last held on 30 August 2009 (next to be held in 2016); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: President Ali BONGO ONDIMBA elected; percent of vote - Ali BONGO ONDIMBA 41.7%, Andre MBA OBAME 25.9%, Pierre MAMBOUNDOU 25.2%, Zacharie MYBOTO 3.9%, other 3.3%
    note: President BONGO died on 8 June 2009 after serving as president for 32 years; in accordance with the constitution he was replaced on an interim basis by the president of the Senate, Rose Francine ROGOMBE on 10 June 2009; new elections were held on 30 August 2009 and the son of the former president, Ali BONGO Ondimba, was elected president
    bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (102 seats; members elected by members of municipal councils and departmental assemblies to serve six-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held on 18 January 2009 (next to be held in January 2015); National Assembly - last held on 17 December 2011 (next to be held in December 2016)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 75, RPG 6, UGDD 3, CLR 2, PGCI 2, PSD 2, UPG 2, ADERE 1, independents 9; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 114, RPG 3, others 3
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (organized into Judicial, Administrative, and Accounts chambers and consists of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointment and tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed - 3 by the national president, 3 by the president of the Senate, and 3 by the president of the National Assembly; judges serve 7-year, single renewable terms
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Court of State Security; county courts; military courts
    Circle of Liberal Reformers or CLR [General Jean Boniface ASSELE]
    Congress for Democracy and Justice or CDJ [Jules Aristide Bourdes OGOULIGUENDE]
    Democratic and Republican Alliance or ADERE [Divungui-di-Ndinge DIDJOB]
    Gabonese Democratic Party or PDG [Omar BONGO]
    Gabonese Party for Progress or PGP [Benoit Mouity NZAMBA]
    Gabonese Union for Democracy and Development or UGDD [Zacharie MYBOTO]
    Independent Center Party of Gabon or PGCI
    National Rally of Woodcutters or RNB
    National Rally of Woodcutters-Rally for Gabon or RNB-RPG (Bucherons) [Fr. Paul M'BA-ABESSOLE]
    Party of Development and Social Solidarity or PDS [Seraphin Ndoat REMBOGO]
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pierre Claver MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU]
    Union for Democracy and Social Integration or UDIS
    Union for the New Republic or UPRN [Louis Gaston MAYILA]
    Union of Gabonese Patriots or UPG [Pierre MAMBOUNDOU]
    NA
    ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, EITI (candidate country), FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Michael MOUSSA-ADAMO
    chancery: Suite 200, 2034 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-0668
    consulate(s): New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Eric D. BENJAMINSON
    embassy: Boulevard du Bord de Mer, Libreville
    mailing address: Centre Ville, B. P. 4000, Libreville; pouch:2270 Libreville Place, Washington, DC 20521-2270
    telephone: [241] 01-45-71-00, after hours - 07380171
    FAX: [241] 74 55 07
    three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and blue; green represents the country's forests and natural resources, gold represents the equator (which transects Gabon) as well as the sun, blue represents the sea
    black panther
    name: "La Concorde" (The Concorde)

    lyrics/music: Georges Aleka DAMAS
    note: adopted 1960

Economy ::Gabon

    Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most sub-Saharan African nations, but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon depended on timber and manganese until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. The economy was reliant on oil for about 50% of its GDP, about 70% of revenues, and 87% of goods exports for 2010, although some fields have passed their peak production. A rebound of oil prices from 1999 to 2008 helped growth, but declining production has hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. Gabon signed a 14-month Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF in May 2007, and later that year issued a $1 billion sovereign bond to buy back a sizable portion of its Paris Club debt. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management has stifled the economy. However, President BONGO ONDIMBA has made efforts to increase transparency and is taking steps to make Gabon a more attractive investment destination to diversify the economy. BONGO ONDIMBA has attempted to boost growth by increasing government investment in human resources and infrastructure. GDP grew more than 6% per year over the 2010-12 period.
    $25.91 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    $24.4 billion (2011 est.)
    $22.79 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $18.38 billion (2012 est.)
    6.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    7.1% (2011 est.)
    6.8% (2010 est.)
    $16,800 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    $16,100 (2011 est.)
    $15,200 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    47.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    44.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
    51.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 37.3%
    government consumption: 9.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 30.3%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 61.2%
    imports of goods and services: -38.7%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 3.7%
    industry: 64.3%
    services: 32% (2012 est.)
    cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
    petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement
    6.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    616,700 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    agriculture: 60%
    industry: 15%
    services: 25% (2000 est.)
    21% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    NA%
    lowest 10%: 2.5%
    highest 10%: 32.7% (2005)
    revenues: $4.987 billion
    expenditures: $4.623 billion (2012 est.)
    27.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    22.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    19.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    2.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    1.3% (2011 est.)
    3% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)
    15% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    15% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $2.552 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    $2.47 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.918 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    $3.534 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $1.785 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    $1.817 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $NA
    $3.747 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    $3.514 billion (2011 est.)
    $10.2 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    $10.72 billion (2011 est.)
    crude oil, timber, manganese, uranium
    Japan 23.9%, US 16.9%, Australia 11.2%, India 7.3%, China 5.4%, Spain 4.1% (2012)
    $3.638 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    $3.319 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
    France 28.1%, China 12.6%, US 9.4%, Belgium 5.8%, Cameroon 4.7% (2012)
    $2.373 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    $2.177 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $3.196 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    $2.879 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
    495.28 (2010 est.)
    472.19 (2009)
    447.81 (2008)

Energy ::Gabon

Communications ::Gabon

    22,500 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    1.8 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    general assessment: adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
    domestic: a growing mobile-cellular network with multiple providers is making telephone service more widely available with mobile-cellular teledensity exceeding 100 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 241; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    state owns and operates 2 TV stations and 2 radio broadcast stations; a few private radio and TV stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible; satellite service subscriptions are available (2007)
    .ga
    127 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    98,800 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 160

Transportation ::Gabon

    44 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    total: 14
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 30
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 9
    under 914 m:
    14 (2013)
    gas 807 km; oil 1,639 km; water 3 km (2013)
    total: 649 km
    country comparison to the world: 105
    standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
    total: 9,170 km
    country comparison to the world: 137
    paved: 1,097 km
    unpaved: 8,073 km (2007)
    1,600 km (310 km on Ogooue River) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    registered in other countries: 2 (Cambodia 1, Panama 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    major seaport(s): Libreville, Owendo, Port-Gentil
    oil/gas terminal(s): Gamba, Lucina

Military ::Gabon

Transnational Issues ::Gabon

    UN urges Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane Island and lesser islands and to establish a maritime boundary in hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay