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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 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 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
    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
    arable land: 1.26%
    permanent crops: 0.66%
    other: 98.08% (2012 est.)
    44.5 sq km (2003)
    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
    Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
    1,672,597
    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 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    0-14 years: 42.1% (male 353,863/female 350,456)
    15-24 years: 20.3% (male 169,681/female 169,082)
    25-54 years: 29.7% (male 248,328/female 248,063)
    55-64 years: 4.2% (male 33,608/female 35,838)
    65 years and over: 3.8% (male 27,117/female 36,561) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 77%
    youth dependency ratio: 68%
    elderly dependency ratio: 9%
    potential support ratio: 11.1% (2014 est.)
    total: 18.6 years
    male: 18.4 years
    female: 18.8 years (2014 est.)
    1.94% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    34.64 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    13.13 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    -2.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    urban population: 86.9% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    LIBREVILLE (capital) 695,000 (2014)
    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: 0.99 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    20.3
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
    230 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    total: 47.03 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 54.27 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 39.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    total population: 52.06 years
    male: 51.54 years
    female: 52.6 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    4.49 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    31.1% (2012)
    3.5% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    0.29 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
    6.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    improved:
    urban: 96.8% of population
    rural: 63% of population
    total: 92.2% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 3.2% of population
    rural: 37% of population
    total: 7.8% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 42.9% of population
    rural: 32% of population
    total: 41.4% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 57.1% of population
    rural: 68% of population
    total: 58.6% of population (2012 est.)
    3.9% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    40,700 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    2,100 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    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)
    13.9% (2008)
    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: 82.3%
    male: 84.9%
    female: 79.9% (2012 est.)
  • 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)
    previous 1961; latest drafted May 1990, adopted 15 March 1991, promulgated 26 March 1991; amended several times, last in 2011 (2013)
    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 Daniel ONA ONDO (since 27 January 2014)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
    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 Omar BONGO died on 8 June 2009 after serving as president for 42 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
    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
    Alliance for National Rebirth or ARENA [Richard MOULOMBA]
    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 [Ali BONGO Ondimba]
    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 [Luccheri GAHILA]
    National Rally of Woodcutters-Democratic or RNB-D [Pierre Andre KOMBILA]
    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 People or UPG [Mathieu Mboumba NZIENGUI - until the next Congress]
    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 Michael MOUSSA-ADAMO (since 2 September 2011)
    chancery: Suite 200, 2034 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000
    FAX: [1] (301) 983-1994
    consulate(s): New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Dante PARADISO; 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 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 2013 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 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. GDP grew nearly 6% per year over the 2010-14 period.
    $34.28 billion (2014 est.)
    $32.61 billion (2013 est.)
    $30.89 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 117
    $20.68 billion (2014 est.)
    5.1% (2014 est.)
    5.6% (2013 est.)
    5.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    $21,600 (2014 est.)
    $20,900 (2013 est.)
    $20,000 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 79
    37.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    41.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
    44.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    household consumption: 30.3%
    government consumption: 9.9%
    investment in fixed capital: 35.1%
    investment in inventories: 7.8%
    exports of goods and services: 50.5%
    imports of goods and services: -33.6%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 3.7%
    industry: 61.7%
    services: 34.6% (2014 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
    4.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    636,000 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    agriculture: 60%
    industry: 15%
    services: 25% (2000 est.)
    21% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    NA%
    lowest 10%: 2.5%
    highest 10%: 32.7% (2005)
    revenues: $5.695 billion
    expenditures: $5.908 billion (2014 est.)
    27.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    -1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    17.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    18.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    calendar year
    7% (2014 est.)
    0.5% (2013 est.)
    3% (31 December 2010)
    4.25% (31 December 2009)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    15% (31 December 2014 est.)
    15% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    $2.983 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $3.011 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    $4.545 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $4.421 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    $2.503 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.35 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    $NA
    -$215.2 million (2014 est.)
    $330.4 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $8.401 billion (2014 est.)
    $8.503 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    crude oil, timber, manganese, uranium
    Japan 21.7%, US 10.7%, Australia 9.7%, India 8.8%, China 8.5%, Spain 6.3%, France 4.3%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.2% (2013)
    $4.76 billion (2014 est.)
    $4.459 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
    France 21.8%, Cote dIvoire 16.6%, China 10%, Belgium 5.6%, US 5.5%, Netherlands 5.1% (2013)
    $2.397 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.47 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    $3.741 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $3.463 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    485.8 (2014 est.)
    494.04 (2013 est.)
    510.53 (2012 est.)
    471.87 (2011 est.)
    495.28 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: GABON

  • 1.702 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    1.378 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    415,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    59% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    41% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    239,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    2 billion bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    19,280 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    20,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    7,670 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    4,594 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    90 million cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    90 million cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    5.437 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: GABON

  • 17,000 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    2.93 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    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
    98,800 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 156
  • 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 (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    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/gas terminal(s): Gamba, Lucina
  • Military :: 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)
    males age 16-49: 350,640
    females age 16-49: 351,718 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 202,404
    females age 16-49: 195,389 (2010 est.)
    male: 17,638
    female: 17,614 (2010 est.)
    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
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