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Africa :: Gabon
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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 December 2002 and the presidential election in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Following President BONGO's death in 2009, a new election 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 stable African countries.
  • Geography :: GABON

  • Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
    1 00 S, 11 45 E
    Africa
    total: 267,667 sq km
    land: 257,667 sq km
    water: 10,000 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 77
    slightly smaller than Colorado
    total: 3,261 km
    border countries (3): Cameroon 349 km, Republic of the Congo 2,567 km, Equatorial Guinea 345 km
    885 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical; always hot, humid
    narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
    mean elevation: 377 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mont Iboundji 1,575 m
    petroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
    agricultural land: 18.1%
    arable land 1.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 17.2%
    forest: 81%
    other: 0% (2011 est.)
    40 sq km (2012)
    164 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.14 cu km/yr (61%/10%/29%)
    per capita: 97.68 cu m/yr (2005)
    NA
    deforestation; poaching
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    a small population and oil and mineral reserves have helped Gabon become one of Africa's wealthier countries; in general, these circumstances have allowed the country to maintain and conserve its pristine rain forest and rich biodiversity
  • People and Society :: GABON

  • noun: Gabonese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Gabonese
    Bantu tribes, including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba); other Africans and Europeans, 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality
    French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
    Catholic 41.9%, Protestant 13.7%, other Christian 32.4%, Muslim 6.4%, animist 0.3%, other 0.3%, none/no answer 5% (2012 est.)
    1,705,336
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    0-14 years: 42.06% (male 360,412/female 356,787)
    15-24 years: 20.29% (male 173,395/female 172,678)
    25-54 years: 29.66% (male 253,304/female 252,493)
    55-64 years: 4.2% (male 34,561/female 37,108)
    65 years and over: 3.79% (male 27,621/female 36,977) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 73.1%
    youth dependency ratio: 64.3%
    elderly dependency ratio: 8.8%
    potential support ratio: 11.3% (2015 est.)
    total: 18.6 years
    male: 18.4 years
    female: 18.8 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    1.93% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    34.49 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    13.12 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    -2.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    urban population: 87.2% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    LIBREVILLE (capital) 707,000 (2015)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    20.3
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
    291 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    total: 46.07 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 53.11 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 38.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    total population: 52.04 years
    male: 51.56 years
    female: 52.53 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    4.46 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    31.1% (2012)
    3.8% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    6.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 97.2% of population
    rural: 66.7% of population
    total: 93.2% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 2.8% of population
    rural: 33.3% of population
    total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 43.4% of population
    rural: 31.5% of population
    total: 41.9% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 56.6% of population
    rural: 68.5% of population
    total: 58.1% of population (2015 est.)
    3.91% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    47,500 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    1,500 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne disease: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
    15.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    6.5% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    NA
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 83.2%
    male: 85.3%
    female: 81% (2015 est.)
    total: 35.7%
    male: 30.6%
    female: 41.9% (2010 est.)
  • Government :: GABON

  • conventional long form: Gabonese Republic
    conventional short form: Gabon
    local long form: Republique Gabonaise
    local short form: Gabon
    etymology: name originates from the Portuguese word "gabao" meaning "cloak," which is roughly the shape that the early explorers gave to the estuary of the Komo River by the capital of Libreville
    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)
    previous 1961; latest drafted May 1990, adopted 15 March 1991, promulgated 26 March 1991; amended several times, last in 2011
    mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Gabon
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Ali BONGO Ondimba (since 16 October 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Daniel ONA ONDO (since 27 January 2014)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-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: Ali BONGO Ondimba elected president; percent of vote - Ali BONGO Ondimba (PDG) 41.7%, Andre MBA OBAME (independent) 25.9%, Pierre MAMBOUNDOU (UPG) 25.2%, Zacharie MYBOTO (UGDD) 3.9%, other 3.3%; note
    description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (102 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal councils and departmental assemblies by absolute majority vote in two rounds; members serve 6-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats; members elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed; members serve 5-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, independent 9; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 114, RPG 3, other 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]
    Democratic and Republican Alliance or ADERE [DIDJOB Divungui di Ndinge]
    Gabonese Democratic Party or PDG [Ali BONGO Ondimba]
    Independent Center Party of Gabon or PGCI [Luccheri GAHILA]
    National Rally of Woodcutters-Democratic or RNB-D [Pierre Andre KOMBILA]
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pierre Claver MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU]
    Union for the New Republic or UPRN [Louis Gaston MAYILA]
    Union of Gabonese People or UPG [Richard MOULOMBA]
    NA
    ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, 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 Baudelaire Ndong ELLA (since 31 July 2015)
    chancery: 2034 20th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000
    FAX: [1] (301) 332-0668
    chief of mission: Ambassador Cythia AKUETTEH (since 13 August 2014); note - also accredited to Sao Tome and Principe
    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; national colors: green, yellow, blue
    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 relied on timber and manganese exports until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. In 2010, the economy depended on oil for about 50% of its GDP, 70% of revenues, and 90% of goods exports.
    Gabon faces fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. A rebound of oil prices from 2001 to 2013 helped growth, but declining production, as some fields passed their peak production, has hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. GDP grew nearly 6% per year over the 2010-14 period but slowed significantly in 2015 as oil prices declined. Low oil prices also weakened government revenue and negatively affected the trade and current account balances.
    Despite an abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management has stifled the economy. There are frequent power cuts and water shortages. However, President BONGO has made efforts to increase transparency and is taking steps to make Gabon a more attractive investment destination to diversify the economy. BONGO has attempted to boost growth by increasing government investment in human resources and infrastructure.
    $34.41 billion (2015 est.)
    $33.23 billion (2014 est.)
    $31.86 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 122
    $13.8 billion (2015 est.)
    3.5% (2015 est.)
    4.3% (2014 est.)
    5.6% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    $21,700 (2015 est.)
    $21,000 (2014 est.)
    $20,100 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 83
    25.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
    35% of GDP (2014 est.)
    38.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    household consumption: 43.8%
    government consumption: 21%
    investment in fixed capital: 27.2%
    investment in inventories: 3%
    exports of goods and services: 38%
    imports of goods and services: -33%
    (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 3.7%
    industry: 39.1%
    services: 57.2% (2015 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
    -8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    653,700 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    agriculture: 60%
    industry: 15%
    services: 25% (2000 est.)
    21% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    NA%
    lowest 10%: 2.5%
    highest 10%: 32.7% (2005)
    revenues: $3.563 billion
    expenditures: $3.944 billion (2015 est.)
    25.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    -2.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    44.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    28.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    calendar year
    0.5% (2015 est.)
    4.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    3% (31 December 2010)
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    15.3% (31 December 2015 est.)
    15% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $1.872 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $2.448 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    $4.545 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.421 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    $1.594 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $2.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $NA
    -$967 million (2015 est.)
    $1.51 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    $5.561 billion (2015 est.)
    $8.872 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    crude oil, timber, manganese, uranium
    China 15.8%, Japan 14.6%, Australia 11%, US 7.9%, India 7.8%, South Korea 6.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.6%, Spain 4.4% (2014)
    $2.429 billion (2015 est.)
    $3.089 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
    France 20%, Cote d'Ivoire 15.3%, China 9.6%, US 9.3%, Algeria 5.1%, Belgium 4.5% (2014)
    $1.825 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $2.495 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    $4.736 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.316 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    596.3 (2015 est.)
    494.42 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: GABON

  • 2.111 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    1.68 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    415,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    59% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    41% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    240,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    226,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    2 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    18,750 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    18,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    5,678 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    5,042 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    384 million cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    384 million cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    5.437 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
  • Communications :: GABON

  • total subscriptions: 17,200
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    total: 3.6 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 215 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    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)
    AM 6, FM 7 (plus 11 repeaters), shortwave 4 (2001)
    4 (plus 4 repeaters) (2001)
    .ga
    127 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    total: 164,800
    percent of population: 9.9% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
  • 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
    standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    total: 9,170 km
    paved: 1,097 km
    unpaved: 8,073 km (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    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: 140
    major seaport(s): Libreville, Owendo, Port-Gentil
    oil terminal(s): Gamba, Lucina
  • Military and Security :: GABON

  • Gabonese Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Gabonaise): Land Force (Force Terrestre), Gabonese Navy (Marine Gabonaise), Gabonese Air Forces (Forces Aerienne Gabonaises, FAG) (2012)
    20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
    1.34% of GDP (2012)
    NA% (2011)
    1.34% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 76
  • 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
    current situation: Gabon is primarily a destination and transit country for adults and children from West and Central African countries subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; boys are forced to work as street vendors, mechanics, or in the fishing sector, while girls are subjected to domestic servitude or forced to work in markets or roadside restaurants; West African women are forced into domestic servitude or prostitution; men are reportedly forced to work on cattle farms; some foreign adults end up in forced labor in Gabon after initially seeking the help of human smugglers to help them migrate clandestinely; traffickers operate in loose, ethnic-based criminal networks, with female traffickers recruiting and facilitating the transport of victims from source countries; in some cases, families turn child victims over to traffickers, who promise paid jobs in Gabon
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Gabon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; Gabon’s existing laws do not prohibit all forms of trafficking, and the government failed to pass a legal amendment drafted in 2013 to criminalize the trafficking of adults; anti-trafficking law enforcement decreased in 2014, dropping from 50 investigations to 16, and the only defendant to face prosecution fled the country; government efforts to identify and refer victims to protective services declined from 50 child victims in 2013 to just 3 in 2014, none of whom was referred to a care facility; the government provided support to four centers offering services to orphans and vulnerable children – 14 child victims identified by an NGO received government assistance; no adult victims have been identified since 2009 (2015)
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