In 1472 the Portuguese entered the Estuary region. They baptized the country "Rio de Gabao", because, it is said, of its form similar to a caban ("gabao" in Portuguese). "Gabao" then changed to "Gabon". Until the eighteenth century, the coastal tribes maintained commercial relations with Europeans (Portuguese, English, Dutch, French and Spanish).
Gabon's borders were established progressively, partly because of disputes with the German Cameroons, and secondly in the context of French Equatorial Africa.
Gabon became independent on August 17, 1960 and in 1961 Léon Mba, pushed by Charles de Gaulle, was elected president of the Gabonese Republic. But the national currency is manufactured by France, which also sets the value.
August 17 has become the date of Gabon's national holiday, commemorating the proclamation of the independence of the country by Léon Mba and his accession to international sovereignty, after more than fifty years of French colonization.
Portuguese arrived. The name of Gabon comes from these first settlers; Gabão in Portuguese means "caban", in relation to the shape of the estuary that borders the coast of Libreville.
The Dutch engaged in the slave trade, trading with the coastal chiefs and especially the Mpongwe, established in the estuary of Komo and Orungu, located in the delta of Ogooué. The slaves are first destined for the plantations of Sao Tome before the trade with America develops. Trade also concerns rubber, wood, ivory ...
France occupies Gabon and begins to penetrate the hinterland.
Gabon becomes a colony which, since 1888, is merged with that of Congo under the name of Gabon-Congo then, in 1898, of French Congo.
Gabon becomes a separate colony again.
The colonies of Gabon and Congo are integrated in French Equatorial Africa.
Gabon becomes an overseas territory.
August 17, 1960
Gabon gains independence, Léon Mba becomes the first president.
Death of Léon Mba replaced by his chief of staff, Albert Bernard Bongo, later called "Omar Bongo Ondimba".
June 8, 2009
Death of Omar Bongo Ondimba.
August 30, 2009
Ali Bongo is elected President of the Republic.
September 24, 2016
Ali Bongo is again elected President of the Republic for a second mandate.
Gabon is a Central African Republic, crossed by the equator, bordering the east, south-east and south of the Republic of Congo, north-west Equatorial Guinea and north of Cameroon.
Gabon is a Central African country with significant natural resources. Open on the Atlantic Ocean, it shares its land borders with Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo. With a population of 2 million inhabitants (2017), it is a sparsely populated country, 85% of its territory being occupied by the forest.
Gabon's urbanization rate is among the highest in the continent: more than four in five Gabonese live in urban areas. Libreville and Port-Gentil, respectively the country's political capital and economic capital, account for 59% of the total population. One in two Gabonese is under the age of 20. According to the 2012 Second Demographic and Health Survey, the fertility rate stands at almost four children per woman in urban areas, compared with six in rural areas.
|Surface||267 667 Km²|
|Population||1 711 294|
|Provinces and country town||Estuaire (Libreville), Moyen-Ogooué (Lambaréné), Ogooué-Ivindo (Makokou),
Ogooué-Lolo (Koulamoutou), Ogooué-Maritime (Port-Gentil), Ngounié (Mouila),
Haut-Ogooué (Franceville), Nyanga (Tchibanga), Woleu-Ntem (Oyem)
|Local languages|| Fang, Téké, Obamba, Punu, Myéné, Nzebi, Kota, Vili,
plus de 30 différentes langues sont parlées.
|RNB||7,210 US $ (2016)|
Right in economic transition since 2009, the Gabonese economy enjoys a strong growth of 5% on average over the period 2010-2016. Since 2009, Gabon has embarked on a diversification drive aimed at revitalizing its economy and gradually reducing its historical dependence on oil exploitation. The country's economy will then rest on three solid pillars: Gabon Industrial, Gabon Vert and Gabon Services. This new dynamic is part of a sustainable trajectory with the establishment of the foundations of sustainable development. An unprecedented investment effort, both public and private, has also been made to build a productive economy. Gabon has thus acquired key infrastructures to strengthen the competitiveness and attractiveness of its economy. This dynamic has allowed the emergence of several sectors, engines of growth, helping to transform the country into a high value-added, diversified and sustainable economy.
Gabon is one of the upper middle-income countries. The fifth largest oil producer in Africa, it has recorded during the last decade a strong economic growth driven notably by the production of oil and manganese. Over the past five years, the oil sector has averaged 80% of exports, 45% of GDP and 60% of budget revenues. Faced with declining oil reserves, the authorities have decided to focus their new strategy on economic diversification.
Gabon's fiscal situation deteriorated in 2015 as the country experienced a deficit for the first time since 1998. The government's efforts to curb spending and offset the decline in oil revenues have failed to revive the economy. stagnated in 2017 and should post a growth rate of 0.6%, compared to 2.1% in 2016.
The limited development of the secondary and tertiary sectors, affected by the weakening of public expenditure, explains this evolution. But the rally in crude oil, manganese and rubber - three commodities exported by the country - underpinned growth in the primary sector. In 2018, growth could rebound to 2.6%, driven by non-extractive sectors such as agribusiness or transport and communications, whose networks have been modernized.
A more favorable external balance contributes to the ongoing recovery of the balance of payments. Debt is expected to remain stable and sustainable in 2018 (at 59.1% of GDP excluding the payment of arrears) before declining in 2019.
The government has launched an audit of the civil service salary budget: among the first measures taken, the decision to pay officials using cash certificates and to organize in situ presence checks in order to find ghost workers. The Presidency and the Prime Minister have reduced their workforce by 40% and the government has extended the recruitment freeze for another three years (excluding social sectors).
Few places in the world where you will have the opportunity to discover a biodiversity as rich and varied as that which you will see in Gabon. The government has understood the benefits it can draw from its incredible nature and nowadays this country as large as half of France has no less than 13 national parks on more than 10% of the territory. This natural heritage is precious.
Thus, in the middle of landscapes as varied as the equatorial forest, the lagoon, the mangrove or the savannah, it is possible to observe nearly 200 species of mammals, 600 species of birds for the happiness of the ornithologists and 70 species of reptiles . The flora is not left behind since Gabon has more than 800 species of trees and 20% of plant species are endemic.
Gorillas, chimpanzees, dolphins, humpback whales, leatherbacks, but also elephants, hippos, panthers and antelopes.
The Gabonese people are composed of about fifty ethnic groups from different regions. None of the Gabonese ethnicities is in the majority, but the most important from a numerical point of view are the Fang (32%), the Mpongwe (15%), the Mbédé (14%), the Punu (12%), the Batéké, the Bakota, the Obamba etc. Gabon has long been home to many immigrants, including French, Lebanese, Nigerians, Togolese, Cameroonians, Beninese and others who have settled in the country. Among these populations, the Pygmies (about 1% of the total population) have a special place, as they were the oldest to occupy the territory.
The dances of Gabon are a reflection of the diversity of the different peoples and rites that animate the Gabonese folklore. They are closely related to different rites, including the Bwiti. Both ritual and playful, the dances of Gabon convey the close link between the sacred and the real world. The typical Gabonese dances are the Ingwala Omias, Mengane, Mekom, Ozila and Eko of the Fang ethnic group, the Ikokou and the Mbouanda of Punu.
Of different morphologies and styles, covered from the feet to the head of raffia or bush leaf cloth or a black loincloth, Gabonese masks belong above all to initiatory societies. They embody both ancestral spirits and geniuses who participate in the life of the village and are mainly used in traditional ceremonies such as marriage, birth and funerals.