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Gabon (2001)

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Gabon 2001 year

Administrative divisions 9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem
Age structure 0-14 years:
33.29% (male 203,677; female 202,833)

15-64 years:
60.77% (male 373,828; female 368,282)

65 years and over:
5.94% (male 35,867; female 36,688) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
Airports 59 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
24 (2000 est.)
Area total:
267,667 sq km

257,667 sq km

10,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Colorado
Background 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 foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous black African countries.
Birth rate 27.42 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$1.5 billion

$1.3 billion, including capital expenditures of $302 million (1996 est.)
Capital Libreville
Climate tropical; always hot, humid
Coastline 885 km
Constitution adopted 14 March 1991
Country name conventional long form:
Gabonese Republic

conventional short form:

local long form:
Republique Gabonaise

local short form:
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Death rate 17.22 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $3.9 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador James V. LEDESMA

Boulevard de la Mer, Libreville

mailing address:
B. P. 4000, Libreville

[241] 76 20 03 through 76 20 04, 74 34 92

[241] 74 55 07
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:

Suite 200, 2034 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

[1] (202) 797-1000

[1] (202) 332-0668

New York
Disputes - international maritime boundary dispute with Equatorial Guinea because of disputed sovereignty over islands in Corisco Bay
Economic aid - recipient $331 million (1995)
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, manganese, and uranium 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. An expected decline in oil output may lead to contraction in GDP in 2001-02.
Electricity - consumption 948.6 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 1.02 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point:
Mont Iboundji 1,575 m
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
Ethnic groups Bantu tribes including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Eshira, Bapounou, Bateke), other Africans and Europeans 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality
Exchange rates Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XAF) per US dollar - 699.21 (January 2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996); note - from 1 January 1999, the XAF is pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XAF per euro
Executive branch chief of state:
President El Hadj Omar BONGO (since 2 December 1967)

head of government:
Prime Minister Jean-Francois NTOUTOUME-EMANE (since 23 January 1999)

Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president

president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held NA 2005); prime minister appointed by the president

election results:
President El Hadj Omar BONGO reelected; percent of vote - El Hadj Omar BONGO 66.6%, Pierre MAMBOUNDOU 16.5%, Fr. Paul M'BA-ABESSOLE 13.4%
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $3.4 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities crude oil 75%, timber, manganese, uranium (1998)
Exports - partners US 47%, France 19%, China 8%, Japan 1.3% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and blue
GDP purchasing power parity - $7.7 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


30% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,300 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.2% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 1 00 S, 11 45 E
Highways total:
7,670 km

629 km (including 30 km of expressways)

7,041 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $1 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, petroleum products, construction materials
Imports - partners France 64%, US 4%, UK 2%, Netherlands 2%, (1999)
Independence 17 August 1960 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 2.3% (1995)
Industries food and beverage; textile; lumbering and plywood; cement; petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, uranium, and gold mining; chemicals; ship repair
Infant mortality rate 94.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.5% (2000 est.)
International organization participation ACCT, ACP, AfDB, BDEAC, CCC, CEEAC, CEMAC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2000)
Irrigated land 40 sq km (1993 est.)
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
Labor force 600,000
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 60%, services and government 25%, industry and commerce 15%
Land boundaries total:
2,551 km

border countries:
Cameroon 298 km, Republic of the Congo 1,903 km, Equatorial Guinea 350 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

3% (1993 est.)
Languages French (official), Fang, Myene, Bateke, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
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
Legislative branch bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (91 seats) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats); members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms

National Assembly - last held 15 and 29 December 1996 (next to be held NA December 2001); Senate - last held 26 January and 9 February 1997 (next to be held in January 2002)

election results:
National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PDG 89, PGP 9, RNB 6, CLR 3, UPG 2, USG 2, independents 4, others 5; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PDG 53, RNB 20, PGP 4, ADERE 3, RDP 1, CLR 1, independents 9
Life expectancy at birth total population:
49.59 years

48.47 years

50.75 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


53.3% (1995 est.)
Location Western Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
Map references Africa
Maritime claims contiguous zone:
24 NM

exclusive economic zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, Republican Guard (charged with protecting the president and other senior officials), National Gendarmerie, National Police
Military expenditures - dollar figure $91 million (FY96)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.6% (FY96)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
281,218 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
145,062 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 20 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
11,304 (2001 est.)
National holiday Founding of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), 12 March (1968)
Nationality noun:
Gabonese (singular and plural)

Natural hazards NA
Natural resources petroleum, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 270 km; petroleum products 14 km
Political parties and leaders African Forum for Reconstruction or FAR [Leon MBOU-YEMBI]; Circle of Liberal Reformers or CLR [General Jean Boniface ASSELE]; Democratic and Republican Alliance or ADERE [Divungui-di-Ndinge DIDJOB]; Gabonese Democratic Party or PDG, former sole party [Simplice Nguedet MANZELA, secretary general]; Gabonese Party for Progress or PGP [Pierre-Louis AGONDJO-OKAWE, president]; Gabonese People's Union or UPG [Pierre MAMBOUNDOU]; Gabonese Socialist Union or USG [Serge MBA BEKALE]; National Rally of Woodcutters (Bucherons) or RNB [Fr. Paul M'BA-ABESSOLE]; People's Unity Party or PUP [Louis Gaston MAYILA]; Rally for Democracy and Progress or RDP [Pierre EMBONI]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pierre Claver MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 1,221,175

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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 1.02% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Cap Lopez, Kango, Lambarene, Libreville, Mayumba, Owendo, Port-Gentil
Radio broadcast stations AM 6, FM 7, shortwave 6 (1998)
Radios 208,000 (1997)
Railways total:
649 km (Gabon State Railways or OCTRA)

standard gauge:
649 km 1.435-m gauge; single track (1994)
Religions Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
0.98 male(s)/female

total population:
1.01 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:

adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations

satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 37,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 9,500 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 4 (plus five low-power repeaters) (1997)
Terrain narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
Total fertility rate 3.69 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 21% (1997 est.)
Waterways 1,600 km (perennially navigable)
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