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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Gabon

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Only two autocratic presidents have ruled Gabon since independence from France in 1960. The current president of Gabon, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-serving heads of state in the world - has 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 have exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Gabon's political opposition remains weak, divided, and financially dependent on the current regime. 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. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most of 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 50% of gdp. gabon continues to face fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. the devaluation of the cfa franc - its currency - by 50% in 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 mandated progress in privatization and fiscal discipline. france provided additional financial support in january 1997 after gabon 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 since 1999 have helped growth, but drops in production have hampered gabon from fully realizing potential gains, and will continue to temper the gains for most of this decade. 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. gabon signed a 14-month stand-by arrangement with the imf in may 2004, and received paris club debt rescheduling later that year. short-term progress depends on an upbeat world economy and fiscal and other adjustments in line with imf policies.

Environmental Issues

Deforestation; poaching

Government Type

Republic; multiparty presidential regime


1,485,832 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to aids; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (july 2008 est.)


Western africa, bordering the atlantic ocean at the equator, between republic of the congo and equatorial guinea


Total: 267,667 sq km land: 257,667 sq km water: 10,000 sq km

Slightly smaller than colorado

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: gabonese republic conventional short form: gabon local long form: republique gabonaise local short form: gabon


Name: libreville geographic coordinates: 0 23 n, 9 27 e time difference: utc+1 (6 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

20 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2007)

International Disputes

Un urges equatorial guinea and gabon to resolve the sovereignty dispute over gabon-occupied mbane island and lesser islands and to establish a maritime boundary in hydrocarbon-rich corisco bay

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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