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GabonLocation/ClimateHistory/TimelinePopulationLeader, Capital, and GovernmentCurrencyEconomyEducationBeliefs/ReligionFlag National AnthemTourismsFun Facts 











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Location/Climate
Gabon lays on the coast of west coast Africa. It is just about the size of Colorado. The area is measured at 103,347 square miles.Gabons is along the drainage basin of the Ogooué River. A drainage basin is anarea of land where water from rain and melting snow or ice drains downhill into a body of water, such as a river, lake,or ocean.
The climate of Gabon is typically hot in the two rainy seasons (September-December & February-May) and moderate in the dry seasons (May-September & December-February.)

History/Timeline
Pygmies were the earliest inhabitants of Gabon. Their desendents like in isolated forest villages. In A.D 1000 Bantu peoples migrated and became the most dominant group. The southernmost part of Gabon was ruled by Bantu Bakongo. The rest of Gabon was occupied by hunting and farming Bantu's. Europeans arrived in the late 15th century and then export of slaves and ivory began. Timber and rubber replaced these exports by the early 1800's. France was the Coastal traders allies.Gabon expierenced little to no development during the colonial era due to it's small population and dense forests. Independence was granted in 1960.

Population
The population in Gabon is 1,545,255. It is 103,347 area per square ml and 267, 667 are per square km.
Gabon's population grows by 2% each year.
Adult literacy rate is 90% (male) and 82% (female).
Infant mortality rate is 52 per. 1,000 births.
Life expectancy 59 (male) and 62 (female)


Leader/Capital/Government
Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba, was declared the winner of the presidential election on 3 September 2009. Ali's father was president for 42 years, he is knows as Africa's longest-serving head of state, having led Gabon since he succeeded the post-independence leader Leon Mba in 1967. Elections for the presidency are held every seven years; term limits do not exist. The voting age in Gabon is 21. PDG is the dominant party. The legislature consists of 102-seat senate and 120-seat National Assembly. Members of the Senate serve 6 year terms, members of the National Assembly serve 5 year terms.
Gabon's capital is Libreville.

Currency
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XAF)



Economy
Gabon's major exports were okoumé. Okoumé is a hard wood, they also used soft woods to make ply wood. Timber was also an export. Although, the have been exceeded by oil exports since 1970s. Oil is 80% of the country's exports. Maganese and uranium are also exported. The largest commercial crops in Gabon include coffee, cocoa, sugarcane, and palm oil. Most food is imported into Gabon, making Libreville one of the most expensive cities in the world.



Education/Language
In Gabon, they follow the French system of education. Students attend school for 13 years, and end with a Baccalaureate Exam. Free education is provided, and all kids are enrolled in and finish primary school, that lasts for 6 years. Only 1/5 of the children who finished primary school continue on to secondary school. Due to family obligations, girls are less likely to finish school then boys. The students that past the Bac Exam can attend one of Gabon's two universities for no cost. Usually, graduates work for the government.

In Gabon their official language is French, nearly all broadcasting and publishing occurs in French. French is taught in schools, it is basically the only written language. French is the only language the Gabonese have in common. Usually the Gabonese speak both French and their ethnic groups native tongue. Fang is more common then French in the north.


Beliefs/Religion
The dominant religion in Gabon is Roman Catholic, about 60% of the Gabonese are Roman Catholic, 20% are Protestant, and the remaining people practice Islam or local animist beliefs. Alot of the Muslims are immigrants from other countries. Church is a popular social occasion, especially for women and girls. Christian clergy are usually from the west, but meetings are influence by African music, and are conducted in the local language by village elders. People mix local beliefs with Christianity.


Flag
Gabon_flag_lg.gif


The flag of Gabon was most recently adopted on 9 August 1960. It has three horizontal stripes. Green, represents the forest. Yellow represents the Equator. And blue, represents the sea.



Fun Facts
Appearance:
The Gabonese wear both Western and African clothing. They like to be neatly groomed and dressed as well as possible, cleanliness is very important. They follow their fashion from neighboring countries, skilled tailors are found in each town. Women like braided hair syles, they may wear colorful loose fitting dresses. Men usually wear shirts and pants, or sometimes western suits.
Greetings:
When the Gabonese meet they always shake hands and smile. If one of the people have a dirty hand, one extends a closed fist (palm down), so the greeter can shake the wrist. Friends might hug and brush alternating cheeks while "kissing in the air". Urban men touch temples instead of brushing cheeks. People of the same sex, usually men, hold hands while walking or talking.

Recipes:
Side Dish
Bananes Frites avec Piment
Fried Plantain Bananas with Hot Pepper Sauce
Ingredients:3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
5 scotch bonnet peppers
Salt
1 cup vegetable oil
6 ripe (not green) plantain bananas, cut into small, round slices
Directions: Finely mince garlic, onion, and peppers, taking care not to touch peppers with the fingers. (Use a fork to hold them while chopping.)
Put garlic, onion, and peppers into a jar. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and enough oil to cover them. Let mixture sit overnight or longer. (It will keep for a month or more in the refrigerator).
Fry banana slices in hot oil. Drain excess oil and salt to taste.
Eat by dipping the bananas in hot pepper sauce.
Yields: 8 servingsHint: This sauce is very spicy and a pea-sized amount is usually enough to begin with.