Gabon


Gabonese Republic
Capital: Libreville Nationality: Gabonese Population: 1,608,321
Currency: XAF Off. Lang: French Area: 267,667 sq km
Internet DM: ga GDP: $24.28 bil. Life Exp: 52.29 yrs
Literacy: 63.2% Location: 1 00 S, 11 45 E Calling Code: 241

Gabon(ɡəˈbɒn) is a central African country bordered by Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea to the north, Republic of Congo to the west and south, with a location of 1 00 S, 11 45 E. The country has a total area of 267,667 sq km. Libreville is the capital. French is the official language.
 








Demographics


The population is 1,545,255, with an average life expectancy of 52.75 years.  The population is 28.6% Fang, 10.2% Punu, 8.9% Nzebi, 6.7% French, 4.1% Mpongwe, other Africans and Europeans 154,000. Gabon is 73% Christian ( 45% Roman Catholic, 28% Protestant ),12% Muslim , 10% traditional beliefs, and 5% nonreligious. 73.7% of adult males and 53.3% of adult females can read.

History


Gabon was originally settle by the Orungou, Mpongwe, Vili, Benge, and Seke ethnics. The Fang were very influential in the region. Between 1840 and 1860, we see massive movements of Fang into the Como, Rembwé, and Ogooué region, trying to acquire trade advantage with the French, Germans, Americans in manufactured goods and cowry shells, viewed as prestigious in the region.

Portuguese Diego Cam was the first European in the region. He arrived at the mouth of the Como River, the Dutch in 1593,  and the French in 1693. In the name of ending the slave trade, French exploration and permanence in the region took off after 1849, signing sovereign treaties with african leaders that essential usurp african sovereignty. 

The region became a French territory in 1888. The French engage in series of land grabs, régime concessionaire. During the Fourth French Republic, Gabon was an overseas department of France with representation in the French Parliament.

Gabon became independent from France in 1960. Léon M'ba became the first president. In 1964, M'ba was briefly removed due to a coup. He was re-instated with the help of France. In 1967, Omar Bongo of  the PDG (Parti Democratique Gabonais) became president. Bongo ruled with an iron fist, suppressing opposition groups. During the 80s, the country experience economic hardship, due to the decline of oil prices. The economic state of the country caused widespread rebellion, forcing Bongo to call for a coalition government and multiparty state in 1990. In 1993, election is held, with Bongo winning 51% of the electorate. With accussation of fraud, mass civil disruption occured. Election was held in 1994, with Bongo and PDG emerging as victors. Bongo and PDG stayed in power with constant charge of rigged election, till Bongos death on June 8, 2009 in a spanish Barcelona hospital. His son Ali Bongo Ondimba was elected president on October 16, 2009.  Charges of voter fraud surface, but were unable to be verified. Andre Mba Obame declared himself president of a parallel government in 2011. Obame felt he won the 2009 election.

Works Cited

CIA, Factbook, Gabon
World Statesmen.org