Union, Travail, Justice
|- From 2009||Ali Bongo Ondimba|
|- From 2009||Paul Biyoghé Mba|
|- November 28, 1958||Established|
|- August 17, 1960||Independence|
|- Total||US$ 22.1 billion|
|- Per capita||US$ 15,020|
|Currency||Central African CFA franc|
The Gabonese Republic is a presidential republic in Middle Africa.
Until recently, only two autocratic presidents had ruled Gabon since its independence from France in 1960. The recent president of Gabon, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - had dominated the country's political scene for four decades. President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in 2002-03 and the presidential elections in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. President BONGO died in June 2009. New elections in August 2009 brought Ali Ben BONGO, son of the former president, to power. Despite political conditions, a small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous and stable African countries. In January 2010, Gabon assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2010-11 term.
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 oil sector now accounts for more than 50% of GDP although the industry is in decline as fields pass their peak production. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports and the global recession led to a GDP contraction of 1.4% in 2009. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. 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 from 1999 to 2008 helped growth, but drops in production have 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.
- Ali Bongo Ondimba (₩) (October 16, 2009 - )
- Paul Biyoghé Mba (₩) (July 17, 2009 - )
- France: French Equatorial Africa (1910-1958)
- The World Factbook (CIA)
- Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments (CIA)
- U.S. Department of State
- Australian Government
- Inter-Parliamentary Union - Upper House
- Inter-Parliamentary Union - Lower House
- BBC News Country Profile
- BBC News Time Line
- World Statesmen.org
- Psephos Election Archive