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Gabon (2007)

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Gabon 2007 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: 42.1% (male 307,444/female 305,468)

15-64 years: 53.9% (male 391,194/female 393,103)

65 years and over: 4% (male 23,978/female 33,680) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
Airports 53 (2007)
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 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 43

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 23 (2007)
Area total: 267,667 sq km

land: 257,667 sq km

water: 10,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Colorado
Background 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 almost 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.
Birth rate 35.96 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $3.027 billion

expenditures: $2.146 billion (2006 est.)
Capital name: Libreville

geographic coordinates: 0 23 N, 9 27 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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
Death rate 12.45 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $3.849 billion (2006 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Barrie R. WALKLEY

embassy: Boulevard du Bord de 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 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
Economic aid - recipient $53.87 million (2005)
Economy - overview Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most of sub-Saharan African nations. 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 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 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. 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.
Electricity - consumption 1.241 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 1.52 billion kWh (2005)
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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

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 - 522.89 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
Executive branch chief of state: President El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba (since 2 December 1967)

head of government: Prime Minister Jean Eyeghe NDONG (since 20 January 2006)

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 (no term limits); election last held 27 November 2005 (next to be held in 2012); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: President El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba reelected; percent of vote - El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba 79.2%, Pierre MAMBOUNDOU 13.6%, Zacharie MYBOTO 6.6%
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $6.053 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports NA bbl/day
Exports - commodities crude oil 77%, timber, manganese, uranium (2001)
Exports - partners US 27.6%, China 15.9%, France 7.8%, Trinidad and Tobago 5.4%, Thailand 4.3% (2006)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and blue
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 6%

industry: 58.4%

services: 35.6% (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.2% (2006 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
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $1.501 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports NA bbl/day
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
Imports - partners France 35.3%, US 7.7%, Netherlands 5.6%, Cameroon 4.5%, Belgium 4.4% (2006)
Independence 17 August 1960 (from France)
Industrial production growth rate 1.6% (2002 est.)
Industries petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement
Infant mortality rate total: 53.65 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 62.53 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 44.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 4% (2006 est.)
Irrigated land 70 sq km (2003)
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 574,000 (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 60%

industry: 15%

services: 25%
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: 1.21%

permanent crops: 0.64%

other: 98.15% (2005)
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 to serve six-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 26 January and 9 February 2003 (next to be held by January 2009); National Assembly - last held 17 and 24 December 2006 (next to be held in December 2011)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 53, RNB 20, PGP 4, ADERE 3, RDP 1, CLR 1, independents 9; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 82, RPG 8, UPG 8, UGDD 4, ADERE 3, CLR 2, PGP-Ndaot 2, PSD 2, independents 4, others 5
Life expectancy at birth total population: 53.99 years

male: 52.85 years

female: 55.17 years (2007 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 territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine registered in other countries: 2 (Cambodia 1, Panama 1) (2007)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Police
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 3.4% (2005 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 17 August (1960)
Nationality noun: Gabonese (singular and plural)

adjective: Gabonese
Natural hazards NA
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
Net migration rate -3.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Pipelines gas 272 km; oil 1,354 km (2006)
Political parties and leaders Circle of Liberal Reformers or CLR [General Jean Boniface ASSELE]; Congress for Democracy and Justice or CDJ [Jules Aristide Bourdes OGOULIGUENDE]; 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]; Gabonese Union for Democracy and Development or UGDD [Zacherie MYBOTO]; National Rally of Woodcutters or RNB; 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]; Union for Democracy and Social Integration or UDIS; Union of Gabonese Patriots or UPG [Pierre MAMBOUNDOU]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 1,454,867

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 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.036% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 6, FM 7 (plus 11 repeaters), shortwave 4 (2001)
Railways total: 814 km

standard gauge: 814 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)
Religions Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.006 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.995 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.712 male(s)/female

total population: 0.987 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: adequate service by African standards and improving with the help of a growing mobile cell network system with three providers; mobile-cellular subscribership exceeded 50 per 100 persons in 2006

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

international: country code - 241; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 36,500 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 764,700 (2006)
Television broadcast stations 4 (plus 4 repeaters) (2001)
Terrain narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
Total fertility rate 4.71 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 21% (2006 est.)
Waterways 1,600 km (310 km on Ogooue River) (2007)
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