Overview of Gabon
Gabon is an independent state situated on the western coast of Central Africa, the African continent. It covers an approximate size of 267,667 square kilometers. Out of the total land size, water bodies occupy 3.76%. The country neighbors Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, and the Gulf of Guinea.
Gabon enjoys an equatorial type of climate with the 85% of the total land size occupied by rainforests. It is located within the longitudes 8⁰W and 15⁰E and the latitudes 3⁰N, 4⁰S of the equator. The country has a large type of environment with three major geographic regions namely the coastal area, the savanna grassland, and the mountains. The country is rich in natural resources including precious minerals such as iron, uranium, magnesium, petroleum, gold and natural forests. Moreover, Gabon is known for its efforts in conserving the environment with an allocation of approximately 10% of the total land for use by the national park systems.
Gabon has roughly two million people, making it one of the counties with the lowest population densities in Africa. Libreville is the most populated city in Gabon, and Makokou being the least populated. Several factors led to the decline in growth of the number of its citizens from 1900-1940s. The Gabonese are widely a Bantu community with only one tribe being non-Bantu (the Baka community). The Fang community is the most significant ethnic community in Gabon with 32% of its citizens speaking the Fang’s language. Racial boundaries within the country are less distinct with all ethnicities spread. Intermarriage is highly practiced, and it is prohibited to marry someone from your ethnic line. Christianity is the most common religion in the country, other types of faith including Islam, Atheism, Bwiti and many more.
Education and Health
The nation's literacy rate stands at 83.2%, and education plays a significant role in the country's economy. Every child exercises his or her rights to go to school between the ages of 6-16 years. The education system in the country has two ministries, the Education Ministry and the Higher Education and Innovative Technologies.
In matters of health, at least 70% of the citizens had access to safe drinking water as of the year 2000. Since 1970, the country has been active in the sports sector, having participated in most Summer Olympics. The nation solely depends on oil as a source of revenue. However, unequal distribution of public utilities has led to growing gap between the rich and the poor. The general infrastructure in Gabon is still sickening since few prominent local and international investors run processing and manufacturing sectors.
Government and Economy
The legislative arm of the government of the country has two parts, the Senate and the National Assembly. The nation had enjoyed democracy since the 1990s when a multi-party system was adopted. The citizens enjoy their democratic right to vote, and it has had three presidents since independence on August 17, 1960. Gabon had a GDP of $36.218 billion as of 2016, the third highest after Equatorial Guinea and Botswana.