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Gabon History Timeline

1400s - 1800s
  • (1470) Europeans arrived from Portugal
  • (1700s) A Myeni speaking kingdom known as Orungu formed
  • (1875) French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza founded the town of Franceville
  • (1885) France officially occupied Gabon
1900s
  • (1910) Gabon was incorporated into French Equatorial Africa
  • (1960) Gabon is granted independence
  • (1961) Leon M'ba was elected first president of Gabon
  • (1964) An army coup seeking to remove M'ba from power is conquered by French troops in less than 24 hours
  • (1967) Vice president Omar Bongo Ondimba assumed the role of president after the death of M'ba
  • (1968) Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state and established the Parti Democratique Gabonais (PDG)
  • (1990) An economic discontent provoked violent protests by students and workers
  • (1991) A new constitution is adopted formalizing a multiparty system
  • (1993) Bongo declared president following elections under the new multiparty constitution
  • (1996) The Gabonese Democratic Party secured a significant majority of votes in parliamentary elections
  • (1998) Bongo is re-elected to a seven-year term
2000s
  • (2003) A change in the constitution allowed for Bongo to run for president as often as he wished
  • (2004) A deal is signed with a French oil firm to export Gabonese oil to China
  • (2005) Bongo is re-elected president; opposition supporters protested in the capital
  • (2009) President Omar Bongo passed away following treatment at a clinic in Spain, his son, Ali Ben Bongo, is elected president shortly thereafter, despite opposition supporters stating the poll was fixed to ensure dynastic succession
  • (2011) President Ali Bongo's ruling party secured 95% of parliamentary seats
  • (2012) Gabon co-hosted the Africa Cup of Nations along with Equatorial Guinea
  • (2013) A villa in Nice, France owned by the late President Omar Bongo is searched as part of a long-running corruption investigation

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.