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State

Capital

Gabon

Libreville

Currency unit

CFA franc

Connections

Central

Democracy

Francophonie

Radioactiv

West Africa

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

History

A state in the rain forest.

The population consists of Bantu peoples about whose history little is known. One of these is the Fang who are also found in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

The Portuguese visited the coast in 1472. The slave trade grew in the 18th century. In 1886 Gabon became part of the French Congo colony and was later split off. Concessionary companies committed atrocities from 1898 until 1930.

Its modern importance is that it is an oil producer and also has Uranium and Manganese. Presumably it is the Uranium which keeps the French still there as administrators. There is also a French military force to "protect" the government.

Languages

Bantu langs.

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

Politics

On "independence" in 1960 the French appointed Leon Mba as president. He set up a one party state, mainly in the interest of French government and commercial interests. Omar Bongo succeeded to the presidency peacefully (without election) and continued the same regime.

Elections held in 1990 were criticized by observers as having been suspicious. The ruling party was returned to power, despite a belief that it was unpopular. However, it is not unreasonable to regard the country as being essentially ruled by the French, as they supply the administrators and wish to acquire the Uranium. Gabon is part of France's nuclear industry.

On the death of long-term dictator Omar Bongo, his son was "elected", endorsed by the Constitutional Courth, despite the opposition candidates being disqualified. It is therefore a dynastic state.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

Oil and Uranium producer as well as iron ore from neighboring Congo. This makes the country more prosperous than many of its neighbors. However, little of that wealth seems to have reached the ordinary people. It is suspected that much of the oil money has been embezzled. Oil is now beginning to decline.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

Green/Ecology

This is a rain forest country. It is under threat from unsustainable logging, which has also disrupted the traditional life of the local peoples. Although the urban elite are prosperous the loss of traditional agriculture in the logging areas has made the rural peoples much poorer, even though this is not a densely populated country.

Oil prospectors, especially those from China, have been drilling inside the National Parks, threatening unique habitats - where elephants reach the shoreline.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

Press censorship, imprisonment without trial.

Climate effects

Last revised 13/10/09


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