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Following, independence from France in 1960, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-ruling heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009). President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in December 2002 and the presidential election in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Following President BONGO's death in 2009, a new election brought his son, Ali BONGO Ondimba, to power. Despite constrained political conditions, Gabon's small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make it one of the more stable African countries.


Central Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea

Natural Resources

petroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower

Population - distribution

the relatively small population is spread in pockets throughout the country; the largest urban center is the capital of Libreville, located along the Atlantic coast in the northwest

French (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
LIBREVILLE (capital) 707,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Gabonese Republic
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republique Gabonaise
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
0 23 N, 9 27 E
Time difference
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Gabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most sub-Saharan African nations, but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon relied on timber and manganese exports until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. From 2010 to 2016, oil accounted for approximately 80% of Gabon’s exports, 45% of its GDP, and 60% of its state budget revenues.
External debt stocks
US$ 5,097,295,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ 1,982,970,942
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 3,849,574,079
Exports of goods and services
US$ 5,837,511,878
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 623,890,439
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 119,518,118
cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
petroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement
crude oil, timber, manganese, uranium
China 15.6%, Italy 7.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 7.2%, Australia 7.1%, Spain 6.4%, South Korea 5.5%, Netherlands 5%, US 4.8% (2015)
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
China 21.5%, France 19.7%, US 6.6%, Benin 4.7%, Netherlands 4% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is difficult. Corporate financial information is often unavailable and when available often unreliable. Debt collection is unpredictable. The institutional framework has many troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run major risks in the difficult environments rated C.
  • 5th largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa: 2nd largest African timber producer; aiming to be the world’s leading manganese
  • Work on economic diversification as part of the Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan
  • Economy highly dependent on the oil sector
  • Re-emergence of budget and current account deficits
  • High costs of factors of production, linked with inadequate infrastructure (transport and electricity)
  • High unemployment and endemic poverty
  • Worsening political context

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