Africa :: Gabon
  • Introduction :: Gabon
  • Background:

    Following, independence from France in 1960, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-ruling heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009). 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 his son, Ali BONGO Ondimba, 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.

    President Ali BONGO Ondimba’s controversial August 2016 reelection sparked unprecedented opposition protests that resulted in the burning of the parliament building. The election was contested by the opposition after fraudulent results were flagged by international election observers. Gabon’s Constitutional Court reviewed the election results but ruled in favor of President BONGO, upholding his win and extending his mandate to 2023.

  • Geography :: Gabon
  • Location:
    Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
    Geographic coordinates:
    1 00 S, 11 45 E
    Map references:
    total: 267,667 sq km
    land: 257,667 sq km
    water: 10,000 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than Colorado
    Land boundaries:
    total: 3,261 km
    border countries (3): Cameroon 349 km, Republic of the Congo 2567 km, Equatorial Guinea 345 km
    885 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    tropical; always hot, humid
    narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
    mean elevation: 377 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mont Iboundji 1,575 m
    Natural resources:
    petroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 19% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 1.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 17.2% (2011 est.)
    forest: 81% (2011 est.)
    other: 0% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    40 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    the relatively small population is spread in pockets throughout the country; the largest urban center is the capital of Libreville, located along the Atlantic coast in the northwest as shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards:
    Environment - current issues:
    deforestation (the forests that cover three-quarters of the country are threatened by excessive logging); burgeoning population exacerbating disposal of solid waste; oil industry contributing to water pollution; wildlife poaching
    Environment - international agreements:
    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
    Geography - note:
    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
  • Population:
    2,230,908 (July 2020 est.)

    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

    country comparison to the world: 145
    noun: Gabonese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Gabonese
    Ethnic groups:
    Gabonese-born 80.1% (includes Fang 23.2%, Shira-Punu/Vili 18.9%, Nzabi-Duma 11.3%, Mbede-Teke 6.9%, Myene 5%, Kota-Kele 4.9%, Okande-Tsogo 2.1%, Pygmy .3%, other 7.5%), Cameroonian 4.6%, Malian 2.4%, Beninese 2.1%, acquired Gabonese nationality 1.6%, Togolese 1.6%, Senegalese 1.1%, Congolese (Brazzaville) 1%, other 5.5% (includes Congolese (Kinshasa), Equatorial Guinean, Nigerian) (2012)
    French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
    Roman Catholic 42.3%, Protestant 12.3%, other Christian 27.4%, Muslim 9.8%, animist 0.6%, other 0.5%, none/no answer 7.1% (2012 est.)
    Demographic profile:

    Gabon’s oil revenues have given it one of the highest per capita income levels in Sub-Saharan Africa, but the wealth is not evenly distributed and poverty is widespread. Unemployment is especially prevalent among the large youth population; more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25. With a fertility rate still averaging more than 4 children per woman, the youth population will continue to grow and further strain the mismatch between Gabon’s supply of jobs and the skills of its labor force.

    Gabon has been a magnet to migrants from neighboring countries since the 1960s because of the discovery of oil, as well as the country’s political stability and timber, mineral, and natural gas resources. Nonetheless, income inequality and high unemployment have created slums in Libreville full of migrant workers from Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, and elsewhere in West Africa. In 2011, Gabon declared an end to refugee status for 9,500 remaining Congolese nationals to whom it had granted asylum during the Republic of the Congo’s civil war between 1997 and 2003. About 5,400 of these refugees received permits to reside in Gabon.

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 36.45% (male 413,883/female 399,374)
    15-24 years: 21.9% (male 254,749/female 233,770)
    25-54 years: 32.48% (male 386,903/female 337,776)
    55-64 years: 5.19% (male 58,861/female 56,843)
    65 years and over: 3.98% (male 44,368/female 44,381) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 68.9
    youth dependency ratio: 62.9
    elderly dependency ratio: 6
    potential support ratio: 16.8 (2020 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 21 years
    male: 21.4 years
    female: 20.6 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Population growth rate:
    2.5% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Birth rate:
    26.3 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Death rate:
    5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Net migration rate:
    3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Population distribution:
    the relatively small population is spread in pockets throughout the country; the largest urban center is the capital of Libreville, located along the Atlantic coast in the northwest as shown in this population distribution map
    urban population: 90.1% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 2.61% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    834,000 LIBREVILLE (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    20.3 years (2012 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate:
    252 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 30.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 33.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 27 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 69 years
    male: 67.3 years
    female: 70.8 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Total fertility rate:
    3.41 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    31.1% (2012)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 97% of population
    rural: 68% of population
    total: 93.8% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0.3% of population
    rural: 32% of population
    total: 6.2% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure:
    2.8% (2017)
    Physicians density:
    0.68 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density:
    6.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 77.7% of population
    rural: 51.9% of population
    total: 74.8% of population
    unimproved: urban: 22.3% of population
    rural: 48.1% of population
    total: 25.2% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    3.8% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    53,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    1,200 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    15% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    6.4% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Education expenditures:
    2.7% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 84.7%
    male: 85.9%
    female: 83.4% (2018)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 35.7%
    male: 30.5%
    female: 41.9% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
  • Government :: Gabon
  • Country name:
    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
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    name: Libreville
    geographic coordinates: 0 23 N, 9 27 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: original site settled by freed slaves and the name means "free town" in French; named in imitation of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone
    Administrative divisions:
    9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem
    17 August 1960 (from France)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 17 August (1960)
    history: previous 1961; latest drafted May 1990, adopted 15 March 1991, promulgated 26 March 1991
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the Council of Ministers, or by one third of either house of Parliament; passage requires Constitutional Court evaluation, at least two-thirds majority vote of two thirds of the Parliament membership convened in joint session, and approval in a referendum; constitutional articles on Gabon’s democratic form of government cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2011
    International law organization participation:
    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
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Ali BONGO Ondimba (since 16 October 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka RAPONDA (since 16 July 2020)
    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 27 August 2016 (next to be held in August 2023); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Ali BONGO Ondimba reelected president; percent of vote - Ali BONGO Ondimba (PDG) 49.8%, Jean PING (UFC) 48.2%, other 2.0%
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
    Senate or Senat (102 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal councils and departmental assemblies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 6-year terms)
    National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (143 seats; members elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
    Senate - last held on 13 December 2014 (next to be held late 2020)
    National Assembly - held in 2 rounds on 6 and 27 October 2018 (next to be held in 2023)
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 81, CLR 7, PSD 2, ADERE-UPG 1, UPG 1, PGCI 1, independent 7; composition - men 84, women 18, percent of women 17.6%
    National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 98, The Democrats or LD 11, RV 8, Social Democrats of Gabon 5, RH&M 4, other 9, independent 8; composition - men 123, women 20, percent of women 14%; note - total Parliament percent of women 15.5%
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 4 permanent specialized supreme courts - Supreme Court or Cour de Cassation, Administrative Supreme Court or Conseil d'Etat, Accounting Supreme Court or Cour des Comptes, Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle, and the non-permanent Court of State Security, initiated only for cases of high treason by the president and criminal activity by executive branch officials)
    judge selection and term of office: appointment and tenure of Supreme, Administrative, Accounting, and State Security courts 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 single renewable 7-year terms
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; county courts; military courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Circle of Liberal Reformers or CLR [Gen. 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]
    Legacy and Modernity Party or RH&M
    Rally for Gabon or RPG
    Restoration of Republican Values or RV
    Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pierre Claver MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU]
    Social Democrats of Gabon
    The Democrats or LD
    Union for the New Republic or UPRN [Louis Gaston MAYILA]
    Union of Gabonese People or UPG [Richard MOULOMBA]
    Union of Forces for Change or UFC [Jean PING]
    International organization participation:
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    Ambassador Michael MOUSSA-ADAMO (since September 9, 2011)
    chancery: 2034 20th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000
    FAX: [1] (301) 332-0668
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Robert E. WHITEHEAD (since March 2019); note - also accredited to Sao Tome and Principe
    telephone: [241] 01-45-71-00
    embassy: Sabliere, B.P. 4000, Libreville
    mailing address: Centre Ville, B. P. 4000, Libreville; pouch: 2270 Libreville Place, Washington, DC 20521-2270
    FAX: [241] 01-74-55-07
    Flag description:
    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
    National symbol(s):
    black panther; national colors: green, yellow, blue
    National anthem:
    name: "La Concorde" (The Concorde)
    lyrics/music: Georges Aleka DAMAS

    note: adopted 1960

  • Economy :: Gabon
  • Economy - overview:

    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. From 2010 to 2016, oil accounted for approximately 80% of Gabon’s exports, 45% of its GDP, and 60% of its state budget revenues.

    Gabon faces fluctuating international 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 from 2014 to just 1% in 2017 as oil prices declined. Low oil prices also weakened government revenue and negatively affected the trade and current account balances. In the wake of lower revenue, Gabon signed a 3-year agreement with the IMF in June 2017.

    Despite an abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management and over-reliance on oil has stifled the economy. Power cuts and water shortages are frequent. Gabon is reliant on imports and the government heavily subsidizes commodities, including food, but will be hard pressed to tamp down public frustration with unemployment and corruption.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $36.66 billion (2017 est.)
    $36.5 billion (2016 est.)
    $35.75 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 123
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $14.93 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    0.5% (2017 est.)
    2.1% (2016 est.)
    3.9% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $18,100 (2017 est.)
    $18,400 (2016 est.)
    $18,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 98
    Gross national saving:
    25.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
    24.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    29.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 37.6% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 29% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.6% (2016 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 46.7% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -26.8% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 44.7% (2017 est.)
    services: 50.4% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    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
    Industrial production growth rate:
    1.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Labor force:
    557,800 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 64%
    industry: 12%
    services: 24% (2005 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    28% (2015 est.)
    20.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 204
    Population below poverty line:
    34.3% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.5%
    highest 10%: 32.7% (2005)
    revenues: 2.634 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 2.914 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    17.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -1.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Public debt:
    62.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    64.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    2.7% (2017 est.)
    2.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Current account balance:
    -$725 million (2017 est.)
    -$1.389 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    $5.564 billion (2017 est.)
    $4.364 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Exports - partners:
    China 36.4%, US 10%, Ireland 8.5%, Netherlands 6.3%, South Korea 5.1%, Australia 5%, Italy 4.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    crude oil, timber, manganese, uranium
    $2.829 billion (2017 est.)
    $2.652 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
    Imports - partners:
    France 23.6%, Belgium 19.6%, China 15.2% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $981.6 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $804.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Debt - external:
    $6.49 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $5.321 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Exchange rates:
    Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
    605.3 (2017 est.)
    593.01 (2016 est.)
    593.01 (2015 est.)
    591.45 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Gabon
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 200,000 (2017)
    electrification - total population: 91.4% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 96.7% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 55% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    2.244 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Electricity - consumption:
    2.071 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Electricity - imports:
    344 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    671,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    51% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    49% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Crude oil - production:
    196,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    Crude oil - exports:
    214,200 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    2 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    16,580 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    24,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    4,662 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    10,680 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Natural gas - production:
    401 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Natural gas - consumption:
    401 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    4.293 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
  • Communications :: Gabon
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 21,818
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 2,930,554
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 138 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Telecommunication systems:
    general assessment: fixed-line and Internet sectors have remained underdeveloped due to the lack of competition and high prices; sufficient international bandwidth due to submarine cable systems, but monopolized by Gabon Telecom; 3G and mobile LTE services and mobile broadband available; govt. commits to XAF 150 billion in backbone infrastructure work through 2020; efforts towards new legal and regulatory improvements (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line is 1 per 100 subscriptions; a growing mobile cellular network with multiple providers is making telephone service more widely available with mobile cellular teledensity at 138 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 241; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC, ACE and Libreville-Port Gentil Cable fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and West Africa; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media:
    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
    Internet country code:
    Internet users:
    total: 1,313,802
    percent of population: 62% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 29,099
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
  • Military and Security :: Gabon
  • Military and security forces:
    Gabonese Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Gabonaise): Land Force (Force Terrestre), Gabonese Navy (Marine Gabonaise), Gabonese Air Forces (Forces Aerienne Gabonaises, FAG), Gabonese National Gendarmerie (2019)
    Military expenditures:
    1.6% of GDP (2019)
    1.53% of GDP (2018)
    1.81% of GDP (2017)
    1.43% of GDP (2016)
    1.19% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Military and security service personnel strengths:

    the Gabonese Defense Forces (FDG) are comprised of approximately 6,500 active duty troops (3,000 Land Forces; 500 Navy; 1,000 Air Force; 2,000 Gendarmerie)

    (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:
    the FDG's inventory is comprised mostly of Brazilian, French, and South African equipment; since 2010, the leading suppliers are France and South Africa (2019 est.)
    Military deployments:
    450 Central African Republic (MINUSCA) (April 2020)
    Military service age and obligation:
    20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)
  • Transportation :: Gabon
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 8
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    TR (2016)
    44 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 14 (2019)
    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
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 30 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 7 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
    under 914 m: 14 (2013)
    807 km gas, 1639 km oil, 3 km water (2013)
    total: 649 km (2014)
    standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    total: 14,300 km (2001)
    paved: 900 km (2001)
    unpaved: 13,400 km (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    1,600 km (310 km on Ogooue River) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Merchant marine:
    total: 28
    by type: general cargo 9, oil tanker 1, other 18 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Libreville, Owendo, Port-Gentil
    oil terminal(s): Gamba, Lucina
  • Transnational Issues :: Gabon
  • Disputes - international:

    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

    Trafficking in persons:
    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)