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Difference between revisions of "Gabon"

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[[fr:Gabon]]

Revision as of 16:22, 28 October 2004

Flag
Gb-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalLibreville
Governmentrepublic; multiparty presidential regime (opposition parties legalized in 1990)
CurrencyCommunaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Areatotal: 267,667 sq km
water: 10,000 sq km
land: 257,667 sq km
Population1,233,353
LanguageFrench (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
ReligionChristian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%

Gabon is a country in Western Central Africa. It lies on the Equator, on the Atlantic Ocean coast, between the Republic of the Congo to the south and east, Equatorial Guinea to the northwest and Cameroon to the north.

A small population, as well as oil and mineral reserves have helped Gabon become one of Africa's wealthier countries. The country has generally been able to maintain and conserve its pristine rain forest and rich biodiversity.

Contents

Regions

Gb-map.png
Map of Gabon
Administrative divisions 
9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Climate

Tropical; always hot, humid

Terrain

Narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south

Highest point 
Mont Iboundji 1,575 m

History

Ruled by autocratic presidents since independence from France in 1960, Gabon introduced a multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and for reforms of governmental institutions. A small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous black African countries.

Independence 
17 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday 
Founding of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), 12 March (1968)

Get in

By plane

By train

By car

By bus

By boat

Get around

Talk

Languages 
French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Learn

Work

Stay safe

Stay healthy

Respect

Contact

External links

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Geography

Geographic coordinates 
1 00 S, 11 45 E
Area 
total: 267,667 sq km
water: 10,000 sq km
land: 257,667 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly smaller than Colorado
Coastline 
885 km
Maritime claims 
contiguous zone: 24 NM
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Natural resources 
petroleum, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
Land use 
arable land: 1.26%
permanent crops: 0.66%
other: 98.08% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
150 sq km (1998 est.)
Environment - current issues 
deforestation; poaching
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

People

Nationality 
noun: Gabonese (singular and plural)
adjective: Gabonese
Ethnic groups 
Bantu tribes including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba), other Africans and Europeans 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality
Religions 
Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: Gabonese Republic
conventional short form: Gabon
local short form: Gabon
local long form: Republique Gabonaise
Constitution 
adopted 14 March 1991
Legal system 
based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Judicial branch 
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme consisting of three chambers - Judicial, Administrative, and Accounts; Constitutional Court; Courts of Appeal; Court of State Security; County Courts
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Jules-Darius OGOUEBANDJA
consulate(s): New York
FAX: [1] (202) 332-0668
telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000
chancery: Suite 200, 2034 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth P. MOOREFIELD
embassy: Boulevard de la Mer, Libreville
mailing address: Centre Ville, B. P. 4000, Libreville
telephone: [241] 76 20 03 through 76 20 04, after hours - 74 34 92
FAX: [241] 74 55 07
Flag description 
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and blue

Economy

Economy - overview 
Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most nations of sub-Saharan Africa. This has supported a sharp decline in extreme poverty; yet 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 50% of GDP. Gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, the economy is hobbled by poor fiscal management. In 1992, the fiscal deficit widened to 2.4% of GDP, and Gabon failed to settle arrears on its bilateral debt, leading to a cancellation of rescheduling agreements with official and private creditors. Devaluation of its Francophone currency by 50% on 12 January 1994 sparked a one-time inflationary surge, to 35%; the rate dropped to 6% in 1996. The IMF provided a one-year standby arrangement in 1994-95, a three-year Enhanced Financing Facility (EFF) at near commercial rates beginning in late 1995, and stand-by credit of $119 million in October 2000. Those agreements mandate progress in privatization and fiscal discipline. France provided additional financial support in January 1997 after Gabon had met IMF targets for mid-1996. 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 in 1999-2000 helped growth, but drops in production hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. In December 2000, Gabon signed a new agreement with the Paris Club to reschedule its official debt. A follow-up bilateral repayment agreement with the US was signed in December 2001.
Industries 
food and beverage; textile; lumbering and plywood; cement; petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, and gold mining; chemicals; ship repair
Agriculture - products 
cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
Exports - commodities 
crude oil 81%, timber, manganese, uranium (2000)
Imports - commodities 
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
Currency 
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Currency code 
XAF
Exchange rates 
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 742.79 (January 2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
39,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
120,000 (2000)
Telephone system 
general assessment: adequate service by African standards and improving with the help of the growing mobile cell system
domestic: adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); fiber optic submarine cable to be in service in 2002
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 6, FM 7 (and 11 repeaters), shortwave 4 (2001)
Radios 
208,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
4 (plus four low-powered repeaters) (2001)
Televisions 
63,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
.ga
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
1 (2001)
Internet users 
18,000 (2002)

Transportation

Railways 
total: 649 km
standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge; single-track (2001)
Highways 
total: 8,454 km
paved: 838 km (including 30 km of expressways)
unpaved: 7,616 km (2000)
Waterways 
1,600 km (perennially navigable)
Airports 
59 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 47
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 24 (2002)

Military

Military branches 
Army, Navy, Air Force, Presidential (Republican) Guard (charged with protecting the president and other senior officials), National Gendarmerie, National Police

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
maritime boundary dispute with Equatorial Guinea because of disputed sovereignty over islands in Corisco Bay

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages