Gabon - What? Where?
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Western Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator between the Congo and Equatorial Guinea - see this map

Total area:
267,670 km2

Comparative area:
slightly smaller than Colorado

Land boundaries:
total 2,551 km, Cameroon 298 km, Congo 1,903 km, Equatorial Guinea 350 km.

885 km.

International disputes:
maritime boundary dispute with Equatorial Guinea because of disputed sovereignty over islands in Corisco Bay.

tropical; always hot, humid.

narrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south.

Natural resources:
petroleum, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore.

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 18%
forest and woodland: 78%
other: 2%

1,122,550 (July 1993 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.45% (1993 est.)

Birth rate:
28.63 births/1,000 population (1993 est.)

Death rate:
14.08 deaths/1,000 population (1993 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1993 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
97.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1993 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 54.19 years
male: 51.46 years
female: 57.01 years (1993 est.)

Total fertility rate:
4.02 children born/woman (1993 est.)

Ethnic divisions:
Bantu tribes including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Eshira, Bapounou, Bateke), Africans and Europeans 100,000, including 27,000 French

Christian 55-75%, Muslim less than 1%, animist

French (official), Fang, Myene, Bateke, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990)
total population: 61%
male: 74%
female: 48%

Labor force:
120,000 salaried. By occupation: agriculture 65.0%, industry and commerce 30.0%, services 2.5%, government 2.5%. Note: 58% of population of working age (1983)

17 August 1960 (from France)

21 February 1961, revised 15 April 1975

Legal system:
based on French civil law system and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; compulsory ICJ jurisdiction not accepted

National holiday:
Renovation Day, 12 March (1968) (Gabonese Democratic Party established)

Political parties and leaders:
Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG, former sole party), El Hadj Omar BONGO, president; National Recovery Movement - Lumberjacks (Morena-Bucherons); Gabonese Party for Progress (PGP); National Recovery Movement (Morena-Original); Association for Socialism in Gabon (APSG); Gabonese Socialist Union (USG); Circle for Renewal and Progress (CRP); Union for Democracy and Development (UDD)

21 years of age; universal

Chief of State: President El Hadj Omar BONGO (since 2 December 1967)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Casimir OYE-MBA (since 3 May 1990)

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and blue