Gabon - Japan Africa Network, Country of the Month August 2010

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  1. Serengeti National Park (the great migration), Tanzania
  2. Kruger National Park, South Africa
  3. Pyramids, Giza Egypt
  4. Rift Valley Lakes, Kenya.
  5. Kalahari Desert, Botswana
  6. Karnak Temple, Egypt
  7. Table Mountain, S. A.
  8. Atlas Mountain, Algeria
  9. Djoudj National Park, Senegal
  10. Goree Island, Senegal


Gabon: Our country of the Month, June 2010
Japan Africa Network joins all Gabonese, friends, wellwishers and all Africans in diaspora to celebrate 50th independence anniversary on 17 August 2010. Congratulations for 50 years of stability and economic prosperity, you are Japan Africa Network’s, Country of the Month August 2010.

flag of gabon
Flag of Gabon

Brief History: France found it very easy to occupy Gabon in 1885 during the European scramble for and partition of Africa due to earlier treaties signed with local chiefs between 1839 and 1841. It(France) started direct administration in Gabon in 1903 and by 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959 when the territories became independent giving birth to the four countries of Central Africa Republic, Chad, Congo(Brazzaville) and Gabon. Since independence from France on 17 August 1960, Gabon had been ruled by President Leon M’ba (1960 to 1967), El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba(1967 to 2009) and the current President Ali Bongo Ondimba(2009 to date) making it one of the most stable countries in Africa. Gabon currently sits as a non-permanent member at the UN security council; 2010-11 session.

Economy: With political stability, a small population density and a huge offshore oil exploration, combined with foreign direct investments, Gabon has grown to be a very properous country posting a GDP of $14, 319; (4 times the average for sub-Sahara Africa). Besides crude oil, Gabon also export other natural resources such as manganese, iron, wood and uranium. Critics however always point to the fact that despite abundant wealth from its huge export of crude oil and other natural resources, a large proportion of Gabon population remains poor due to high income inequalities.

Tourism: Gabon is multi-ethnic and combines a variety of cultures, customs, interesting rituals and folklores with traditional music and dances that are often on display all over the country. Traditional folk instruments includes the: obala, ngombi, balafon, and other traditional drums. The Masks and Sculptures of Gabon are noted for their beauty and mythical personalities. They are collectors’ items, well-known all over Europe. Pottery is also an everyday feature in Gabonese culture. Being an island nation, Gabon has beautiful sandy beaches good for relaxation. Gabon is also endowed with rich savannah, mangroves and lagoons making it an ideal habitat for varied species of animals and reptiles including 20,000 lowland gorillas, 60,000 forest elephants(the largest in Africa) and exotic birds. It is also important to note that national parks occupy one tenth of the total land space in Gabon so where-ever one turns, there's always an attraction.

See contry facts below:
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Name(official): Gabonese Republic
Name(short): Gabon
Capital City: Libreville
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Atlantic ocean at the Equator, between Republic of Congo and Equitorial Guinea Click to enlarge map of gabon
Map of Gabon
Coordinate: 1 00 N, 11 45 E
Independence: (From France) August 17th; 1960.
  • Ali Bongo Ondimba - President from 16 October 2009
  • Paul Biyonghé MBA - Prime Minister from 15 July 2009
  • Rose Francine Rogombe
    (Interim President 8 Jun; 2009 to 16 October 2009 on the death of El Hadj Omar Bongo)
  • El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba
    (President: 2 Dec. 1967 to 8 Jun; 2009)
  • Jean Eyeghe NDONG(Prime Minister)
  • Léon M’BA - (President 17/08/1960 - 28/11/1967)
Type of Government: Republic
Total Area: 267
Population: 1,545,255 (July 2010 est.)
People: 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.
Religion: Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
Languages: French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi.
Literacy: 63.2%total, 73.7%male, 53.3%female (1995 est.)
Currency: CFAF
GDP(per capita): $13,900 (2009 est.),
$14,300 (2008 est.), $14,400 (2007 est.)
Arable Land: 1.21% (2005 est.)
Agriculture: cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, cattle, okoume(a tropical softwood), fish.
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower.
Embassy in Japan: Embassy of the Gabonese Republic,
Chancery: 1-34-11, Higashigaoka, Meguro-ku.
Post Code: 152-0021, Tel. 03-5430-9171
Gabonese Embassy
General Info:
International Phone Code: +241

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