GABON

Date of establishment: 1960

Brief history:

  • 15th century: Portuguese explorers discover the coast of Gabon.
  • 19th century: Gabon becomes part of French Equatorial Africa.
  • 1960: It gains independence from France and becomes a republic with first president Leon M’ba.
  • 1967: After M’bo’s death, his spokesman Omar Bongo becomes president and remains in power for the next 41 years.
  • 1990: The first elections since independence are held.
  • 2009: After Bongo’s death, his son Ali Bongo Ondimba becomes president, raising concerns about hereditary rule.
  • 2016: Presidential election is followed by violence and disputes over the results.

 

International abbreviation: GB

 

Currency: Central African franc (CFA)

Gabon’s currency is the CFA franc, which is the currency used in several African countries and is firmly pegged to the euro. It is divided into 100 centimes.

 

Internet domain: .gb

 

Dialing code: +241

 

Time zone: +1 GMT

 

Geography:

Gabon is located in Central Africa on the equator. It borders Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea to the north, and Congo to the east.

The main river is the Ogooué, which flows through the country from northeast to southeast.

 

Highest peak: Mont Bengoué 1070 m (3 510 feet) above sea level.

It is located in Ogooué-Ivindo province in the Crystal Mountains near the border with Cameroon.

The mountain is covered in tropical rainforest and is located in the protected area of the Gabon National Park.

 

Climate:

Gabon has a tropical climate with high humidity and high temperatures throughout the year. The average temperature in Gabon is between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius (75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit), rainfall is higher during the rainy season, which lasts from November to April.

During the dry season from May to October, rainfall decreases and temperatures can be higher. The warmest months are January and February, while the coldest are July and August.

 

Fauna and flora:

Gabon has a rich population of spiders and insects, including various species of butterflies and beetles. The country is a paradise for ornithologists who can observe many species of birds, including parrots, pelicans, and petrels.

The forest areas are home to various species of monkey, such as the colobus, mangabey, and pot-bellied. Gabon is home to elephants, leopards, lions, and hyenas.

Mangrove areas are home to crocodiles, including the saltwater crocodile. The country has a rich marine life, with many species of fish live, as well as dolphins, sharks, and sea turtles.

The extensive forests that cover most of the country are home to many species of rare trees such as moabi, okoumé and mahogany. There are various species of orchids, some of which are endemic and rare. In the forests of Gabon, vines and ferns are common, adorning the trees and contributing to biodiversity.

Traditional tribes in the country use many plants for medicinal purposes.

 

Agriculture:

Agriculture in Gabon mainly includes small family farms and home gardens that focus on producing food for own consumption.

The main crops are cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, rice, beans, and fruits, including bananas, pineapples, and papayas. Coffee and cocoa are also grown.

However, agriculture makes up only a small part of Gabon’s economy and most food must be imported.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Gabon has abundant natural resources, including oil, timber, and manganese, and these are often the country’s main sources of income.

Manganese ore is mined in the Franceville area and forms a substantial part of the country’s exports. Manganese ore is mainly used as a raw material for the production of steel and aluminum. Gabon has become an important world producer of this metal.

 

Industry:

Industry in Gabon is based primarily on the extraction of raw materials, including oil, timber, and manganese. It also has a small food industry, including coffee, cocoa, and palm oil processing.

There are several oil fields in the west coast area. Oil extraction is one of the most important industries. Timber is another important industry. The country has extensive forests and therefore wood is harvested and processed in Gabon, which is used to make furniture, doors, windows, floors, and other wooden products.

 

Services and other areas of the economy:

 

Natural and historical attractions: the national parks of Lopé, Mayumba, Doudou, and the cities of Lambaréné and Libreville.

Gabon has a rich natural flora and fauna and many protected areas, including national parks that are home to a variety of animals such as gorillas, elephants, leopards, and crocodiles. The most famous national parks in Gabon include Loango, which is famous for its beaches, mangrove swamps, and river deltas, and Ivindo, which is famous for its waterfalls and forests.

In addition, visiting local markets and shops selling handicrafts such as woven baskets, pottery and jewelry made from local materials can be an interesting tourist attraction. Gabon also has a rich cultural scene, including traditional dances and singing.

 

Waterparks in Gabon:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

Gabon is a presidential republic with a semi-presidential system of government. The president is the head of state and also holds the office of prime minister.

The government is appointed by the president. Parliament is made up of two chambers: the Senate and the National Assembly. The Senate has 102 members, 91 of whom are elected for six-year terms and 11 are appointed by the president. The National Assembly has 143 members who are elected for five-year terms.

The country has a system of multiparty parliamentary representation, but political power is heavily concentrated in the hands of the president and his party, the Democratic Party of Gabon (PDG). In Gabon, there are also opposition parties that criticize the presidential regime and are demanding greater democracy and transparency in the political process.

Gabon is divided into nine provinces and one city with independent status – the capital Libreville. Each province has a governor who is appointed by the president.

 

Capital city: Libreville

It is located on the west coast of Gabon on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea. With a population of approximately 700 000, it is Gabon’s largest city and also the country’s most important economic and cultural center.

The city was founded in 1849 as a French settlement and later became the capital of the French colony of Gabon. In 1960, when Gabon gained independence, it became the capital of an independent state.

Libreville is home to many important buildings such as the Presidential Palace, the National Museum, the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, and the city hall. The city is an important port from which agricultural products, timber, and oil are exported. The city is also home to Léon Mba International Airport, which serves as the gateway for tourists and visitors to Gabon.

 

Area: 267 668 km2 (103 347 square miles)

 

Population: 2 350 000 (2022)

The majority of the country’s population lives on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, especially in the area of the capital Libreville.

The country has a very diverse population consisting of many ethnic groups. The largest group are the Fangs, who make up approximately 32% of the population. Other important groups are the Mpongwe, Punu, Nzebi, and Teke. The country is also home to a smaller number of immigrants from other African countries, Europe, and Asia.

The official language is French, but most residents also speak their local languages.

Gabon is a relatively wealthy country with a high GDP per capita, leading to a relatively high standard of living compared to other African countries. Although it has abundant natural resources, many residents live in poverty and lack access to health care and education.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 2

 

  1. Lopé-Okanda National Park (2007) – This national park is in the central part of Gabon and includes extensive forests, savannas and rivers. It is home to many animal species, including elephants, gorillas, leopards, and crocodiles.
  2. Ivindo Nature Reserve (2021) – Located in the northeast of Gabon, it includes extensive forests, waterfalls, and rivers. It is home to many animal species such as monkeys, elephants, and gorillas.

 

National parks: 13

 

  1. Akanda National Park
  2. Birougou National Park
  3. Bwiti National Park
  4. Crystal Mountains National Park
  5. Ivindo National Park
  6. La Lopé National Park
  7. Loango National Park
  8. Mayumba National Park
  9. Minkébé National Park
  10. Moukalaba-Doudou National Park
  11. Pongara National Park
  12. Waka National Park
  13. Wonga Wongué National Park.