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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.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 1,454,867 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Gabonese (singular and plural)

Nationality (Adjective): Gabonese

Official Language(s): French

Major Languages Spoken: French

Map of Gabon

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Gabonese Republic

Country Name (short form): Gabon

Country Name (local long form): Republique gabonaise

Country Name (local short form): Gabon

Name of Capital: Libreville

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Gabon: Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea

Land Area: 257667 sq km

Water Area: 10000 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Colorado

Total Land Boundry: 2,551 km

Coastline: 885 km

National Holiday: Founding of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), 12 March (1968)

International Phone Code: 241

Currency Code: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF)

Internet Country Code: .ga

US Embassy Location: Boulevard du Bord de Mer, Libreville

US Embassy Mailing Address: Centre Ville, B. P. 4000, Libreville


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