Gabon. According to countryaah, Libreville is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Gabon. A census presented in March showed that Gabon’s population had increased by 50% to 1.5 million between 1993 and 2003. Experts and opposition politicians dismissed the increase as technically impossible and suspected that the government had inflated the figures to fill the ballot boxes with false names before autumn presidential election. An attempt to deceive increased foreign aid was also presented as a reason for the suspected fraud with the census.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym GA stands for the country of Gabon and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
In November, President Omar Bongo was re-elected, expecting close to 80% of the vote. Following the death of Étienne Gnassingbé Eyadéma in Togo in February, Bongo is the nesting ground of African heads of state. He has led Gabon since 1967.
In recent decades the economy has achieved good results thanks to the increasing use of the resources that the country has, especially oil, so that the GDP per capita (4230 dollars in 1997) is the largest in all of Africa. However, it remains strongly conditioned by the marked imbalance between the mining sector and the other sectors, which are unable to get out of a state of perennial backwardness. Moreover, since the mid-1980s, fluctuations in prices and the fall in demand for some products of which the country is a good exporter have caused a decline in foreign exchange revenues. In the 1990s, the financial and economic situation was affected by the decrease in the price of crude oil and the need for international repayments weighed down the debt with foreign countries. As a result, the government was forced to adopt a policy of relative austerity to readjust state finances and to initiate a three-year program of reforms.
Despite the desire to diversify the bases of the economy, the oil sector remains dominant (contributes to the formation of 44, 7 % of GDP) and the amount of extracted crude oil (17, 8 million tonnes in 1995) has more than doubled in ten years. Among the other mineral resources uranium (650 t) and manganese (663,000 t) are of some importance, while the presence of deposits of iron ores and phosphates has been ascertained.
Agriculture is very backward and linked to subsistence products (cassava, corn and rice) and the lack of good communication routes affects the development of commercial crops. A large amount is the forests: the forest area covers 74, 3 % of the national territory and the production of high quality wood is around 4, 4 million m ³ per year.
The small size of the internal market does not favor the development of industrial activities which, still of little importance, mainly concern the agri-food, primary wood processing and petrochemical sectors.