GABON

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Map of Gabon

also known as the Gabonese republic. Gabon is a very small country sizing up at only 267,667 square km or 103,347 square mi. Gabon is located on the western coast of central Africa with the capitol of Libreville. Surrounding Gabon is Cameroon to the norther area and to the south and east is the republic of Congo, and to the west is part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Flag of Gabon

Gabon_flag_lg.gif
The official flag of Gabon

The flag of Gabon is composed of three horizontal stripes. Each representing a part of the earth. The green is for the forest, the yellow for the equator, and the blue for the sea.

GEOGRAPHY
Gabon_forest.jpg
tropical area of Gabon

- 103,347 Sq.Mi. (267,667 Sq.Km.)
  • About the size of Colorado
- Located in the drainage basin of the Ogooué River.
- Gabon is an equatorial country meaning that some most or all of it lays on the equator.
- About 3/4 or the country is on the equator and that 3/4 is low lying rain forest.
- The other 1/4 is the south east which is mostly Savannah.
Gabon is divided into three distinct regions. The coastal plains about 300 km from the shore, the mountains to the north east of the capital city of Libreville; and the savanna to the east.
- Gabon has two climates. hot and moderate.
- There are two rainy seasons. One is from September-December, and the other February-May.
The other two seasons are dry seasons. One from May-September, and the other from December-February.
  • the climates were recorded between the main parts of either season in the capital of Libreville
  • The January average temperatures are 80*F(27*C) and in July temperatures are around 75*F(24*C)
NATURAL RESOURCES: petroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, and hydro power.
LAND USES: arable land: 1.21%, permanent crops: 0.64%, other: 98.15% (2005)
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES: Large scale logging threatens the forests which harbor a countless number of plant and animal species. some of these species are endangered or even not discovered yet.
Not to mention 4/5 of Africa's gorillas and chimpanzees live in Gabon.
- And not only is logging threatening animals and plants it it threatening human life as well because when they cut down the forest they may be uncovering things that cause harmful diseases such as the Ebola virus that is found in Gabon.

HISTORY/TIME LINE


XXXX- the earliest inhabitants of Gabon were the Pygmies. How they got there, when they got there, and what they did is unknown.

1000A.D.- the Bantu Tribes and people migrated to the area and soon became the dominant race.
The southern part of Gabon was ruled by a Bantu Bakongo empire. They were centered at the mouth of the Congo river. the rest of Gabon under the south Bantu rule was composed of smaller Bantu villages used for farming or hunting.

late 1600's- The first Europeans arrive. Shortly after the exporting of slaves and ivory to Europe begins.

Early 1800's- The main exports to Europe change from slaves and Ivory to timber and rubber.

1875- French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area and founded Franceville

1885- France officially occupies Gabon with several Bantu groups living in the Gabon area.

1910- Colonial era, Gabon had little development during this era because of small population and dense forestry.

1960- Gabon was granted independence with borders based on French Equatorial Africa's artificial internal boundaries instead of ethnic grouping as before. Bongo instituted a relatively tolerant one-party rule.

1967- Death of Gabon's first president Leon M'ba. He was succeeded by Albert-Bernard Bongo.
Omar_bongo.jpg
Albert/Omar Bernard Bongo


1970's- Gabon joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and Albert Bongo, the president of Gabon at the time, adopted Islam, and changed his first name to Omar.

1990- strikes and protests are formed all around Gabon wanting to change the one party rule.

1991- one party rule is revoked and the legalization of oppositional party's is done. more then 40 political party's run for seats in the national assembly. Bongo's party of Gabonese Democratic party won the majority.

1993- Bongo win
s first multiparty presidential election.

1998- Bongo is reelected with large majority

July of 2003- the Gabonese democratic party amended Gabon's constitution to eliminate restrictions on the number of terms the president can hold office.

November 2005- Bongo wins another election

June 2009- After 42 years as president Bongo dies.
August 2009- new election is held and the son of Albert/Omar Bongo, Ali Bongo, is declared the winner.

THE PEOPLE OF GABON


- POPULATION: Gabon's population is approximately 1.55 million people and growing by 2% annually. That's about 31 thousand people a year growth.
- NET MIGRATION RATE: -3.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
- BIRTH RATE: 35.57 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
- DEATH RATE: 12.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
- INFANT MORTALITY RATE: total: 51.78 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 60.17 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 43.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
- LIFE EXPECTANCY: total population: 53.11 years
male: 52.19 years
female: 54.05 years (2009 est.)
- Libreville the Capital and largest city in Gabon contains about 30% of the population. thats about 465 thousand people. Other major cities are Port-Gentil, Franceville, and Lambaréné. .
- There are more then 40 ethnic groups in Gabon. The largest group is the fang which is 30% of the population. Others include Eshira, Bapunu, Nzebi, Bavili, Balumbu, Adouma, Mbeda, Bakota, Omyene, Okande, and Bateke.
- There are roughly 40,000 Pygmies that live in the dense forests however they have little or no contact with other groups.
- Gabon also gets many immigrants, especially from French speaking African nations.
- The national language of Gabon is French. Nearly all publishing and broadcasting is done in French and it is the language most commonly heard in the cities.
- French is tought in school because it is the only language the Gabonese have in common and it is the only written language in Gabon.
- Most Gabonese speak french and there ethnic groups tongue.
For example in the north fang is more common then French and the fang are the more common of the race in the north.
- Other languages include but are not limited to Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, and Bandjabi.
- People are usually not fluent in an other ethnic groups language, but the languages do seem to be simmilar in some words or sounds so the may trace back to a root language.
- Though most information is exchanged orally christian missionaries have worked to help put some of the languages into written form.
- LITERACY: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 63.2%
male: 73.7%
female: 53.3% (1995 est.)
EDUCATION: The Gabonese follow the French style of teaching,
- Students attend school for 13 years then take a final exam called a baccalaureate or bac for short.
- Free education is provided and most people finish primary schooling which in Gabon is 6 years.
- Only 1/5 of the kids who finish primary school move on for the next 7 years.
- Girls are less likely to finish all 13 years then boys because of family obligations.
- The schools are usually very low on teachers and school supplies and if you do finish the 13 year long school program you are able to attend either of Gabon's two colleges free of charge.
- Those who do finish all 13 years and college almost always work for the government.

ECONOMY


- In the past Gabon's main industry is in exports.
- The exports were slaves and ivory but that then changed to hard woods and soft woods for timber.
- the exports of timber still continue but the grandeur of those exports has been replaced with that of oil since 1970.
- Imports include machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
- Gabon's agricultural products include cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); and fish.
- Oil counts for 1/3 of Gabon's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and for 80% of the county's exports.
- However, Gabon is trying to diversify its economy to be less dependent on oil in the future.
- The currency in Gabon is the CFA Franc.
EXCHANGE RATE: 1 US Dollar = 487.300 CFA Franc
GDP: Today Gabon's total GDP is 14.53 billion US dollars.
This is mainly because of the offshore oil supply.
GDP PER CAPITA: $13,700
LABOR FORCE: about 633,000
LABOR FORCE BY OCCUPATION: agriculture: 60%, industry: 15%, services: 25%
- Unemployment is 21% of the population that's about 310,000 people

INTERNET ACCESS


- Number of internet users in Gabon APPROX: 1000
- Dial up installation costs 9,900F CFA francs
- Internet access is limited and the charge varies the charges per amount of timed usage.
Hours per month/cost

    • 5 hours per month – 7,200F CFA

    • 10 hours per month – 13,500F CFA

    • 20 hours per month – 26,550F CFA 30 hours per month – 36,450F CFA

    • 50 hours per month – 54,900F CFA

    • *each additional hour costs 2,250F CFA

    • unlimited hours – 63,000F CFA














Works Cited

http://online.culturegrams.com/world/world_country.php?contid=1&wmn=Africa&cid=57&cn=Gabon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabon#History

Picture of Omar Bongo: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http:uk.reuters.com/resources/r/%3Fm%3D02%26d%3D20090608%26t%3D2%26i%3D10426712%26w%3D300%26fh%3D300%26fw%3D%26ll%3D%26pl%3D%26r%3D2009-06-08T184155Z_01_BTRE55710RE00_RTROPTP_0_FRANCE-GABON-BONGO&imgrefurl=http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL857134620090608&usg=phzbGw5S64XkbKtwMRTBRTpkGjE=&h=300&w=347&sz=13&hl=en&start=26&zoom=1&tbnid=5SscFUd_Z37YPM:&tbnh=136&tbnw=141&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgabon%2Bpresident%2Bomar%2Bbongo%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D587%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C717&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=369&ei=O8CoTMmaIcOqlAfx0oSjDg&oei=JcCoTIb4EIT78AaLx8GpDA&esq=9&page=3&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:26&tx=77&ty=52&biw=1024&bih=587

Map of Gabon: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http:go.hrw.com/atlas/norm_map/gabon.gif&imgrefurl=http://go.hrw.com/atlas/norm_htm/gabon.htm&usg=stJusX9QTRpib6zhDP4Y6c1bq-c=&h=400&w=624&sz=66&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=4wBoSxV6Xe_C3M:&tbnh=106&tbnw=165&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgabon%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D587%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=245&vpy=122&dur=698&hovh=106&hovw=165&tx=156&ty=72&ei=OsGoTJu7DYP88Abc5ZS3DA&oei=OsGoTJu7DYP88Abc5ZS3DA&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0

http://www.theodora.com/wfbcurrent/gabon/gabon_people.html

http://www.theodora.com/wfbcurrent/gabon/gabon_economy.html

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic

http://www.indexmundi.com/

http://www.uneca.org/aisi/nici/country_profiles/Gabon/gabinter.htm