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République Gabonaise
Gabonese Republic

Flag of Gabon Coat of Arms of Gabon
Motto
Union, Travail, Justice
Anthem
La Concorde
Map of Gabon
CapitalLibreville
Government Presidential republic
President
- From 2009Ali Bongo Ondimba
Prime Minister
- From 2009Paul Biyoghé Mba
Legislature Parliament
History
November 28, 1958Established
August 17, 1960Independence
Area267,667 km²
Population
- 20091,475,000
 Density5.5/km²
GDP2009 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 22.1 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 15,020
CurrencyCentral African CFA franc
Flag of France Equatorial Africa
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The Gabonese Republic is a presidential republic in Middle Africa.


Background

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.[1]

Economy

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.[2]

President

  • Ali Bongo Ondimba () (October 16, 2009 - )


Prime Minister

  • Paul Biyoghé Mba () (July 17, 2009 - )

Nation

Gabonese Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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