Gabon, officially named the République Gabonaise, is located in western central Africa lying on the Equator and bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Neighbouring countries are Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Gabon has a land area of 267,667 km² and a maritime aspect with 850 km of coastline providing the largest opening to the interior of any country in the World. The principle river, the l’Ogooué, runs from east to west where it enters the Atlantic Ocean via a vast marine delta system surrounding the Cap Lobez peninsular, a busy petroleum industry base.
In a move that sets a new standard in African conservation, the nation of Gabon, which contains some of the most pristine tropical rainforests on earth, has set aside 10 percent of its land mass for a system of national parks. Since 1946 some 13 national parks have been established, protecting vital habitat for mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants and other spectacular wildlife. This is a decision of global significance that implies certain sacrifices in the short- and medium-term in order to achieve the goal of preserving these natural wonders for future generations.
Objectives of the National Parks:
• To protect Gabon’s natural richness for the benefit of future generations
• To contribute to the preservation of world heritage
• To develop ecotourism
• To reduce poverty in rural areas
Gabon was granted Independence on August 17th 1960 from France. In the early 1990s Gabon introduced a multiparty system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and for reforms of governmental institutions.
83% of children are in full-time education. There are abundant natural resources and foreign private investment has helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in the region.
Gabon possesses a well-established infrastructure, notably railways, main road routes and airline routes. Telecommunications are also well developed.
Time Zone: UTC +1
Population: 1.8 million
Telephone Country Code: +241
Climate: Hot and Humid with heavy precipitation
Average Temperature: 26°C
Highest Mountain: Mont Iboundji, 1,500 m.
The economy is primarily driven by the Oil and Gas sector, and comprises 46% of government’s budget, over 80% of exports and 43% of GDP. Gabon’s GDP is four times higher than most sub-Saharan nations.
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine Francs CFA (XAF)
GDP: Real growth rate 5.6% (2013)
GDP: per Capita $18,300 (est. 2013)
Inflation: 1.2% (est. 2013)
Exports: $9.777 billion (est. 2013)
Imports: $3.934 billion (est. 2013)
Natural Resources: Petroleum, natural gas, diamond, manganese, niobium, iron ore, uranium, cocoa and timber.
Industries: Petroleum extraction and refining, manganese and gold mining, chemicals and textiles.
Exports: Crude oil, timber, manganese and uranium.
Imports: Machinery, equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals and construction materials.