Gabon - One of the rich countries in Africa
Gabon is one of Africa s richest countries.
The extensive forest cover in the West African equatorial state allows the
export of tropical timber. Gold and uranium are found beneath the forests and
substantial oil reserves have been discovered off the coast. In addition to
these economically interesting mineral resources, the depths of Gabon also hold
a scientifically interesting treasure: the Oklo natural reactor.
About two billion years ago, a nuclear chain reaction started in a uranium
deposit near Oklo. For over 500,000 years, several tons of uranium were fissured
and plutonium was produced. Today it is assumed that inflowing water moderated
the nuclear fission.
It is also worth mentioning that the famous doctor and philanthropist Albert
Schweitzer founded a hospital in Gabon. In 1954, “Le Grand Docteur” received the
Nobel Peace Prize for it.
|Name of the country
||Republic of Gabonaise
|Name in German
|Form of government
||Equatorial Africa on the Atlantic coast
||about 2 million (Credit:
||approx. 40 Bantu peoples, mainly Fang (approx. 26%) and Punu (24%)
||approx. 41% Catholics, 13% Protestants, 40% followers of natural
and about 6% Muslims
||French is the official language.
||Mont Milondo with a height of 1,020 m
||Ogooué with a length of over 1,200 km
|International license plate
|Time difference to CET
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||220 volts and 50 hertz
|Internet TLD (Top Level Domain)
Archaeological finds have already proven a Stone Age settlement in what is
now Gabon. The first residents of the country were probably hunter-gatherer
groups of the pygmies. From the 11th century onwards, they were displaced by the
Bantu peoples advancing from the north and retreated into the rainforests.
From the 15th to the 18th century
Abbreviationfinder website, in 1472 the country was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Lopo
Goncalves. In the 17th century, the Fang Bantu tribes migrated to the country,
who subsequently expanded and dominated the slave and ivory trade with the
Europeans. The Gabon coast became the center of the Portuguese slave trade in
the early 19th century.
In the 19th century
In 1839 the French landed in the Gabon estuary and then acquired the first
land from the ruler Antchouwé Kowe Rapontchombo. In 1849 Libreville was founded
as a settlement for freed slaves. In 1883 Gabon became part of French Equatorial
Africa and from 1910 it was administered separately. The north of the country
belonged to German Cameroon from 1911 to 1918. Albert Schweizer (1875 to 1965)
founded his jungle hospital in Lambaréné in 1913, where he worked until 1965.
In the 20th and 21st centuries
Gabon gained independence from France on August 17, 1960. A coalition
government under Leon M'Ba was formed. In 1964 the first attempted coup took
place. In 1967, after the death of Leon M'Ba, Albert-Bernard Bongo Ondimba (born
1935; after converting to Islam: Omar Bongo) took over the office of
President. In 1968 the unity PDG (Parti Démocratique Gabonais) was founded. The
country's oil reserves enabled rapid economic growth. In 1973 Gabon became a
member of OPEC. The country came closer to Libya and the president converted to
Islam. In 1974 Gabon, whose population was then less than 1% Muslim, joined the
Islamic Conference and officially became an Islamic country.
In the 1980s civil unrest increased, but was suppressed with the help of the
secret police. In 1986, Bongo became president for the third time. Falling oil
prices triggered an economic crisis in 1988. In 1989 violent unrest led to a
constitutional amendment, the introduction of a multi-party system and more
freedom of the press. In 1990 the murder of the opposition politician Joseph
Rendjambe sparked unrest and protests. On the occasion of attacks on a
consulate, the French military intervened.
Bongo's early parliamentary elections in September 1990 were won again by the
PDG. In 1993 Omar Bongo was re-elected President. Nationwide riots broke out. In
October 1994 the "Paris Treaties" on the continuation of the democratization
process were signed with international participation, the implementation of
which was subsequently confirmed in a referendum. In 1998, Bongo emerged again
as the winner of the presidential election.
In December 2005, Omar Bongo was elected President for a further seven
years. On the part of the opposition, however, he was accused of election
manipulation. After a peaceful police-violent counter-demonstration in
Libreville was ended, the government temporarily stationed soldiers in the
capital. Bongo died as one of the longest serving presidents worldwide on June
8th 2009 in a hospital in Barcelona/Spain.