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Gabon (2003)

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Gabon 2003 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: 42.3% (male 280,218; female 278,808)

15-64 years: 53.5% (male 352,363; female 355,315)

65 years and over: 4.2% (male 22,786; female 32,070) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
Airports 57 (2002)
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)
Area total: 267,667 sq km

land: 257,667 sq km

water: 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 considerable foreign support have helped make Gabon one of the more prosperous black African countries.
Birth rate 36.54 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.8 billion

expenditures: $1.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $310 million (2002 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: Gabon

local long form: Republique Gabonaise

local short form: Gabon
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF); note - responsible authority is the Bank of the Central African States
Death rate 11.17 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $3.8 billion (2002 est.)
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
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Jules Marius OGOUEBANDJA

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

telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000

FAX: [1] (202) 332-0668

consulate(s): New York
Disputes - international creation of a maritime boundary in hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay with Equatorial Guinea is hampered by dispute over small islets on Mbane/Mbagne bank, administered and occupied by Gabon since the 1970s
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, and manganese exports. Despite the abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management hobbles the economy. 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. Short-term progress depends on an upbeat world economy and fiscal and other adjustments in line with IMF policies.
Electricity - consumption 742.5 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 798.4 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 34.5%

hydro: 65.5%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
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, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba), 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 - 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.7 (1999), 589.95 (1998)
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)

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

elections: 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 (2001)
Exports $2.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities crude oil 77%, timber, manganese, uranium (2001)
Exports - partners US 46.5%, France 11.6%, China 6.5%, Netherlands Antilles 5.8% (2002)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and blue
GDP purchasing power parity - $8.354 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 15%

industry: 60%

services: 25% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $6,500 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 0.2% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 1 00 S, 11 45 E
Geography - note a small population and oil and mineral reserves have helped Gabon become one of Africa's wealthier countries; in general, these circumstances have allowed the country to maintain and conserve its pristine rain forest and rich biodiversity
Highways total: 8,464 km

paved: 838 km

unpaved: 7,626 km (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $1.1 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
Imports - partners France 50.7%, US 6.3%, Netherlands 3.6% (2002)
Independence 17 August 1960 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 1.6% (2002 est.)
Industries petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, and gold mining; chemicals; ship repair; food and beverage; textile; lumbering and plywood; cement.
Infant mortality rate total: 55.05 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 65.12 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 44.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.3% (2002 est.)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 1 (2001)
Irrigated land 150 sq km (1998 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 25%, industry 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: 1.26%

permanent crops: 0.66%

other: 98.08% (1998 est.)
Languages French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, 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; members elected by members of municipal councils and departmental assemblies) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: National Assembly - last held 9 and 23 December 2001 (next to be held NA December 2006); Senate - last held 26 January and 9 February 1997 (next to be held in January 2004)

election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PDG 86, RNB-RPG 8, PGP 3, ADERE 3, CLR 2, PUP 1, PSD 1, independents 13, others 3; 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: 57.12 years

male: 55.45 years

female: 58.84 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 63.2%

male: 73.7%

female: 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, Presidential (Republican) Guard (charged with protecting the president and other senior officials), National Gendarmerie, National Police
Military expenditures - dollar figure $81.9 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2% (FY02)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 305,603 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 158,226 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 20 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 12,853 (2003 est.)
National holiday Founding of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), 12 March (1968)
Nationality noun: Gabonese (singular and plural)

adjective: Gabonese
Natural hazards NA
Natural resources petroleum, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Pipelines gas 210 km; oil 1,426 km; water 3 km (2003)
Political parties and leaders 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]; Gabonese Party for Progress or PGP [Pierre-Louis AGONDJO-OKAWE,]; National Rally of Woodcutters-Rally for Gabon or RNB-RPG (Bucherons) [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 1,321,560

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 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 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.54% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Cap Lopez, Kango, Lambarene, Libreville, Mayumba, Owendo, Port-Gentil
Radio broadcast stations AM 6, FM 7 (and 11 repeaters), shortwave 4 (2001)
Railways total: 814 km

standard gauge: 814 km 1.435-m gauge (2002)
Religions Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
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
Telephones - main lines in use 39,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 120,000 (2000)
Television broadcast stations 4 (plus four low-power repeaters) (2001)
Terrain narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
Total fertility rate 4.83 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate 21% (1997 est.)
Waterways 1,600 km (perennially navigable)
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