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Gabon Facts

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 GABONESE POLITICAL
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Background: Ruled by autocratic presidents since independence from France in 1960, Gabon introduced a multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and for reforms of governmental institutions. A small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous black African countries.
 
 
Common Name: Gabon Local Official Name: Gabon
Abbreviated Name: Gabonese Republic Official Name: Republique Gabonaise
Official Script Name: Gabon Local Common Name: Gabon
Former Name: Gabon Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: President El Hadj Omar BONGO
 
Government Type: republic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990)
 
Independence: 1960 August 17 (from France)
 
Constitution: adopted 1991 March 14
 
National Holiday: Founding of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), 12 March
 
International Organization Participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CCC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
 
Administrative Divisions: 9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
Legal System: based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
 
Suffrage: 21 years of age years
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: chief of state: President El Hadj Omar BONGO (since 2 December 1967) head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Francois NTOUTOUME-EMANE (since 23 January 1999) 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; election last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held NA 2005); prime minister appointed by the president election results: President El Hadj Omar BONGO reelected; percent of vote - El Hadj Omar BONGO 66.6%, Pierre MAMBOUNDOU 16.5%, Fr. Paul M'BA-ABESSOLE 13.4% Legislative Branch: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (91 seats; members elected by members of municipal councils and departmental assemblies) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats); members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms elections: National Assembly - last held 9 and 23 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2006); Senate - last held 26 January and 9 February 1997 (next to be held in NA 2002) election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PDG 86, RNB-RPG 8, PGP 3, ADERE 3, CLR 2, PUP 1, PSD 1, independents 13, others 3; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PDG 53, RNB 20, PGP 4, ADERE 3, RDP 1, CLR 1, independents 9 Judicial Branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme consisting of three chambers - Judicial, Administrative, and Accounts; Constitutional Court; Courts of Appeal; Court of State Security; County Courts
 
Party Leaders: African Forum for Reconstruction or FAR [Leon MBOU-YEMBI]; 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, former sole party [Simplice Nguedet MANZELA, secretary general]; Gabonese Party for Progress or PGP [Pierre-Louis AGONDJO-OKAWE, president]; Gabonese People's Union or UPG [Pierre MAMBOUNDOU]; National Rally of Woodcutters-Rally for Gabon or RNB-RPG (Bucherons) [Fr. Paul M'BA-ABESSOLE]; People's Unity Party or PUP [Louis Gaston MAYILA]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Pierre EMBONI]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pierre Claver MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU]
 
International Disputes: maritime boundary dispute with Equatorial Guinea because of disputed sovereignty over islands in Corisco Bay
 
Illicit Drugs: NA 
 
 
 GABONESE GEOGRAPHY
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Location of Gabon: Western Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
 
Continent: Africa Land Area Total: 267,667 sq km 
Region: Eastern African Land Area Land: 257,667 sq km
Capitol City: Libreville Land Area Water: 10,000 sq km
      
Latitude: 001 00 S Border Boundary Land: 2,551 km
Longitude: 011 45 E Border Boundary Coastline: 885 km 
  
Arable Land: 1.00 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 1.00 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 1,575 m Location: Mont Iboundji
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: Atlantic Ocean
  
Largest City in Gabon: Libreville Libreville Largest City Population: 523,000
  
Threatened Species: 95
 
Environmental Issues: deforestation; poaching
 
Environmental Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
Irrigated Land: 150
 
Bordering Countries: Cameroon 298 km, Republic of the Congo 1,903 km, Equatorial Guinea 350 km
 
Natural Resources: petroleum, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
 
Geographical Terrain: narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
 
Comparative Area of Gabon: slightly smaller than Colorado
 
Gabon's Geography: 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
 

 GABONESE CLIMATE
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General Climate: tropical; always hot, humid
 
Natural Hazards: NA
 
 
 GABONESE ECONOMY
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Economic Overview: Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most nations of sub-Saharan Africa. This has supported a sharp decline in extreme poverty; yet 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 oil sector now accounts for 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, the economy is hobbled by poor fiscal management. In 1992, the fiscal deficit widened to 2.4% of GDP, and Gabon failed to settle arrears on its bilateral debt, leading to a cancellation of rescheduling agreements with official and private creditors. Devaluation of its Francophone currency by 50% on 12 January 1994 sparked a one-time inflationary surge, to 35%; the rate dropped to 6% in 1996. The IMF provided a one-year standby arrangement in 1994-95, a three-year Enhanced Financing Facility (EFF) at near commercial rates beginning in late 1995, and stand-by credit of $119 million in October 2000. Those agreements mandate progress in privatization and fiscal discipline. France provided additional financial support in January 1997 after Gabon had met IMF targets for mid-1996. In 1997, an IMF mission to Gabon criticized the government for overspending on off-budget items, overborrowing from the central bank, and slipping on its schedule for privatization and administrative reform. The rebound of oil prices in 1999-2000 helped growth, but drops in production hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. In December 2000, Gabon signed a new agreement with the Paris Club to reschedule its official debt. A follow-up bilateral repayment agreement with the US was signed in December 2001.
 
 
GDP: $6,700,000,000 USD Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc
GDP per Capita: $5,500 USD Currency Code: XAF
GDP Growth Rate: 2.50 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 10.00 % GDP of Industry: 60.00 %
GDP of Services: 30.00 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 1.50 % Population in Poverty: 0.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 21.00 % Tourism: 175,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 0.00 % Budget Revenue in USD: $1,800,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 0.00 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $1,800,000,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 850,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 790,500,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 0 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 29.41% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 70.59% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
   
Oil Production: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 0 cu m
Oil Consumption: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 0 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 0 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 0 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 0 cu m
   
External Debt: $3,600,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $331,000,000 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
   
Agricultural Products: cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
 
Primary Industries: food and beverage; textile; lumbering and plywood; cement; petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, and gold mining; chemicals; ship repair
 
Industrial Growth Rate: -6.40 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $921,000,000 USD - machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
 
Import Partners: France 62%, Cote d'Ivoire 7%, US 5%, Belgium 3%
 
Export Amount in USD: $2,500,000,000 USD - crude oil 81%, timber, manganese, uranium
 
Export Partners: US 51%, France 17%, China 8%, Netherlands Antilles 4%
 
    
GINI Index: 0.00%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 600,000
 
Labor Force by Occupations: agriculture 60%, services and government 25%, industry and commerce 15%
 
  
 GABONESE COMMUNICATIONS
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Radio Broadcast Stations: 16 Number of People with Radios: 208,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 3 Number of People with Televisions: 63,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 39,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 120,000
 
Internet Service Providers: 4 Internet Users: 15,000
 
Internet Country Code: .ga Newspapers: 30
Two Letter Country Code: GA Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: +241 Electricity Voltage: Volts
  
Telephone Systems: general assessment: adequate service by African standards and improving with the help of the growing mobile cell system domestic: adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
 
  
 GABONESE TRANSPORTATION
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Highways: 629 km Railways: 649 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 284 km Waterways: 1,600 km
Airports: 10 Heliports: 0
 
Motor Vehicles: 31 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 3,331,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 2.90 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: NA
 
Ports and Harbors: Cap Lopez, Kango, Lambarene, Libreville, Mayumba, Owendo, Port-Gentil
 
  
 GABONESE PEOPLE
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Population: 1,233,353 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 27.24 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 5.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 17.59 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.97% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 3.65 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 205,559 Population Female 0-14: 204,796
Population Male 15-64: 376,103 Population Female 15-64: 371,422
Population Male 65+: 37,220 Population Female 65+: 38,253
 
Population 0-14: 33.30% Literacy Rate: 63.20%
Population 15-64: 60.60% Literacy rate of Males: 73.70%
Population 65+: 6.10% Literacy rate of Females: 53.30%
 
Population that is Male: 50.50 % Population that is Female: 49.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 49.11 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 93.50 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 48.01 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 50.25 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 9.00% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 23,000
Number of people who died of AIDS: 2,000
   
Disease Risk:
 
Diseases:
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.00
 
Nationality: GABONESE
 
Ethnic Groups: 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 
 
  
Primary Language: Fang
 
Other Languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
 
 
Primary Religion: Christian
 
Other Religions: Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
 
  
 GABONESE MILITARY
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Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Presidential (Republican) Guard (charged with protecting the president and other senior officials), National Gendarmerie, National Police
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 20 years of age years
 
Manpower Available: 284,358 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 146,908 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 11,304 People per year
 
Expenditures: $70,800,000 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 2.00
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
 GABONESE RESOURCES
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