An oil-rich equatorial country in West Africa, Gabon’s abundant natural resources have given it one of the highest per capita incomes in Africa, though lower oil revenues has seen growth contract in recent years. Nonetheless, thousands of kilometres of dense jungle rich in minerals and timber, decades of political stability and strong ties with both the EU and Gabon’s regional neighbours should help the country withstand near-term oil shocks. History Although there is little historical record…
From The Report: Gabon 2016
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Gabon covers an area of 267,667 sq km, with 10,000 sq km of narrow coastline stretching across 885 km of the Gulf of Guinea. Gabon’s vast forested areas are home to more than 3000 species of vegetation and at least 190 species of mammals. The population comprises 40 separate ethnic groups, the majority of which speak Bantu languages, which are classified into 10 linguistic groups. According to the latest available official data, as of 2013 Gabon’s population totalled just 1.8m, compared to 22.3m in Cameroon and 4.6m in the Republic of the Congo. Like many oil-dependent nations, Gabon’s economy has felt the impact of depressed global oil prices in recent years, with the World Bank reporting that real GDP fell from $18.18bn in 2014 to $14.34bn in 2015. As a result, the government, which in 2009 launched its guiding economic strategy, Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan, has hastened its efforts to expand the scope of economic activity, with several major new agricultural projects due to come on-stream in the near future.
This chapter includes interviews with President Ali Bongo Ondimba; Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry; and Pierre Moussa, President, CEMAC Commission.