Country Profile

Gabon Country Profile

Gabon is located on the Gulf of Guinea, surrounded by low- and lower-middle income neighbours. However, the country’s sizable oil resources and limited population have positioned it as one of six upper-middle income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Gabon has the second-largest economy in the sub-region. GDP at purchasing power parity reached $29.38bn in 2012, behind Cameroon ($55.35bn), but ahead of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea ($27.6bn). Oil production, however, has declined steadily from a peak of 370,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 1997 to roughly 245,000 bpd as existing fields mature. Under the Emerging Gabon (Plan Stratégique Gabon Emergent, PSGE) development strategy, adopted in 2009, the government aims to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons and establish a diversified economy by 2025. Gabon’s position as one of the most politically stable countries in Central Africa provides it with a solid base for economic growth. Like many sub-Saharan countries, Gabon still faces challenges related to transparency and efficient governance but successive presidential transitions have been relatively smooth.

This chapter contains interviews with President Ali Bongo Ondimba; Prime Minister Daniel Ona Ondo; and Gao Hucheng, Chinese Minister of Commerce.