General information: Gabon achieved independence in 1960 (before 1960 – a colony of France); thereafter, the country was ruled by autocratic rulers. In the early 90s. a multi-party system was introduced and a new constitution was adopted, which contributed to greater transparency in the electoral process and the implementation of government reforms. A small population, rich natural resources and foreign private investment have made Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Africa.
Location: West Africa, on the equatorial coast of the Atlantic Ocean, between the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea.
Geographic coordinates: 1° 00′ S. latitude, 11° 45’E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 267,667 km2; land surface area: 257,667 km2; water surface area: 10,000 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Colorado.
Land borders: total length: 2,551 km; with neighboring states: with Cameroon – 298 km, with the Republic of the Congo 1,903 km, with Equatorial Guinea 350 km.
Coastline: 885 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; consistently hot and humid.
Relief: narrow coastal lowland; hills and mountains inland; elevated plains (savannah) in the east and south.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Ibunji 1,575 m.
Natural resources: crude oil, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 18%; forests and plantations: 77%; others: 3% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 40 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; poaching.
International Environmental Treaties: Member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands. signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 1,221,175; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 33.29% (male 203,677; female 202,833); 15 to 64 years old: 60.77% (male 373,828; female 368,282); over 65: 5.94% (male 35,867; female 36,688) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.02% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 27.42 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.). i
Mortality: 17.22 deaths / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.02 male/female; over 65: 0.98 male/female; for the general population: 1.01 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 94.91 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 49.59 years; men: 48.47 years; women: 50.75 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 3.69 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 4.16% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 23,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 2,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Gabonese; adjective: Gabonese.
Ethnic groups: Bantu tribes, including four main tribal groups (Fang, Eshira, Bapunu, Bateke); other Africans and Europeans 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 dual citizens.
Believers: Christians 55-75%, animists, Muslims less than 1%.
Language(s): French (official), Fang, Mie Ne, Bateke, Bapunu/Eshira, Banjabi.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 63.2%; men: 73.7%; women: 53.3% (1995 est.). State Name:
conventional long form: Gabonese Republic;
conventional short form: Gabon; local long form: Republique Gabonaise; local short form: Gabon
State structure: republic; multi-party presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990).
Administrative division: 9 provinces: Wole-Ntem, Moyen-Ogou, Nguni, Nyanga, Ogou-Iwendo, Ogou-Lolo, Oroy-Maritim, Haute-Ogou, Estuer. Independence on August 17, 1960 (until 1960 – a colony of France).
National Day: Anniversary of the founding of the Gabonese Democratic Party, 12 March (1968).
Constitution: adopted March 14, 1991
Legal system: based on the French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court is possible; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 21 years old; universal.
chief of state: President El Hadj Omar BONGO (since 2 December 1967);
head of government: Prime Minister Jean-Francois NTOU-TOUME-EMANE (since 23 January 1999) See a2zgov.com to know more about Gabon government and politics.
Government: a council of ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; elections last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held in 2005); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: President El Hadj Omar BONGO re-elected President; percentage of votes – El Hadj Omar BONGO 66.6%, Pierre MAMBOUNDOU 16.5%, about. Paul M’BA-ABESSOLE (Fr. Paul M’BA-ABESSOLE) 13.4%.
Legislature: the bicameral legislative assembly consists of the Senate (91 members) and the National Assembly (120 members elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term); elections: for the National Assembly last held on 15 and 29 December 1996 (next to be held in December 2001); to the Senate were last held on 26 January and 9 February 1997 (next to be held in January 2002); election results: for the National Assembly – distribution of votes by party – no data; distribution of seats by party – PDG 89, PGP 9, RNB 6, CLR 3, UPG 2, USG 2, independents 4, others 5; in the Senate – distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by party – PDG 53, RNB 20, PGP 4, ADERE 3, RDP 1, CLR 1, independent 9.
Judiciary: the Supreme Court, consisting of three chambers: Judicial, Administrative and Accounts; Constitutional Court; Court of Appeal; State Security Court; district courts.
Political parties and leaders: African Forum for Reconstruction (FAR) (Leon MBOU-YEMBI); Group of Liberal Reformers (CLR) (Jean Boniface ASSELE); Democratic and Republican Alliance (ADERE) (Divungui-di-Ndinge DIDJOB); Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), formerly the only party (Simplice Nguedet MANZELA, general secretary); Gabonese Progress Party (PGP) (Pierre-Louis AGONDJO-OKAWE, President); Gabonese People’s Union (UPG) (Pierre MAMBUNDU); Gabonese Socialist Union (USG) (Serge MBA BEKALE); National Association of Lumberjacks (RNB) (Paul M’BA-ABES-SOL); Popular Unity Party (PUP) (Louis Gaston MAYILA); Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) (Pierre EMBONI);
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CCC, CEEAC, CEMAS, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: Ambassador Paul BOUNDOUKOU-LATA (Paul BOUNDOUKOU-LATHA); office: Suite 200, 2034 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009; phone:  (202) 797-1000; fax:  (202) 332-0668; Consulates: New York.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador James V. LEDESMA; embassy: Boulevard de la Mer, Libreville; mailing address: W. R. 4000, Libreville; phone:  76 20 03, 76 20 04, 74 34 92; fax:  74 55 07.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of green (top), yellow and blue.