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Gabon, officially the Gabonese Republic (French: République gabonaise), is a sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. It has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometers (100,000 sq. mi) and its population is estimated at 1.5 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville.
Gabon's financial system is shallow and financial intermediation levels remain low compared to other developing countries. The state plays an important role in the financial sector. It controls two of the nine banks and has a stake in most of the others. Credit to the private sector lies below the average for oil-exporting countries in sub-Saharan Africa, amounting to 18.3% of non-oil GDP in 2011, down slightly from 18.7% in 2010. Banks dominate the financial sector, with only a few non-bank financial institutions operating in the country. Banks, even though highly liquid are extremely prudent in providing credit. The majority of the population lacks access to any type of financial services, as even traditional informal mechanisms, prevalent in other African economies, are scarce. As of 2011, only around 131 out of every 1000 adults were depositors in commercial banks, and the only 73out of every 1000 were borrowers. In efforts to increase access to finance, the country's authorities have recently supported the establishment of a development and growth fund to support small and medium enterprises, as well as the creation of a specialized agency to promote private investment. The banking sector is composed of nine commercial banks and is open to foreign institutions, but remains highly concentrated with three of the largest banks accounting for over 80 percent of all loans and deposits. The recent recession has exerted pressures on interest rate policies in the country; auction rates, repurchase rates, and minimum deposit rates have all decreased, while the bank penalty and treasury advance rates have been maintained above statutory limits. However, banks' growth potential continues to be constrained by the small size of the non-oil economy, given that the financing of the oil sector is largely undertaken by foreign international banks.
|Agriculture||Cocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, cattle, fish, okoume|
|Manufacture||Gold, food and beverage, chemicals, textiles, petroleum extraction and refining|
|Services (Including financial)||32.8% (2010 estimate)|
|Societe Nationale Petroliere Gabonaise||Energy|
|Shell Oil Gabon||Oil & Gas|
|Vaalco Gabon||Oil & Gas|
|Nouvelle Air Affaires Gabon||Airlines|
|Bank of Central African States||Financial|
|BGFI Bank Group||Financial|
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Gabon hosts the Central African Stock Exchange (BVMAC), which was launched in 2008. The country successfully issued a 10-year USD 1 billion Eurobond in 2007, which registered strong investor interest.
Gabon earned a poor reputation with the Paris Club and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the management of its debt and revenues. Successive IMF missions have criticized the government for overspending on off-budget items (in good years and bad), over-borrowing from the Central Bank, and slipping on the schedule for privatization and administrative reform. However, in September 2005 Gabon successfully concluded a 15-month Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF. Another 3-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF was approved in May 2007. Because of the financial crisis and social developments surrounding the death of President Omar Bongo and the elections, Gabon was unable to meet its economic goals under the Stand-By Arrangement in 2009. Negotiations with the IMF were ongoing. Gabon's oil revenues have given it a per capita GDP of $8,600, unusually high for the region. However, skewed income distribution and poor social indicators are evident. The richest 20% of the population earn over 90% of the income while about a third of the Gabonese population lives in poverty. At World Bank and IMF insistence, the government embarked in the 1990s on a program of privatization of its state-owned companies and administrative reform, including reducing public sector employment and salary growth, but progress has been slow. The new government has voiced a commitment to work toward an economic transformation of the country but faces significant challenges to realize this goal.
Since its independence from France in 1960, Gabon has had three presidents. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions. Gabon was also a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2010–2011 term. Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the 4th highest HDI and the third highest GDP per capita (PPP) (after Equatorial Guinea and Botswana) in the region. GDP grew by more than 6% per year from 2010 to 2012. However, because of inequality in income distribution, a significant proportion of the population remains poor.
Ali Bongo Ondimba
Richard Auguste Onouviet
(President of National Assembly)
(President of Senate)
The Central African CFA franc (French: franc CFA or simply franc, ISO 4217 code: XAF) is the currency of six independent states in central Africa: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. These six countries have a combined population of 48.0 million people (as of 2014), and a combined GDP of US$88.2 billion (as of 2012).CFA stands for Coopération financière en Afrique Centrale ("Financial Cooperation in Central Africa"). It is issued by the BEAC (Banque des États de l'Afrique Centrale, "Bank of the Central African States"), located in Yaoundé, Cameroon, for the members of the CEMAC (Communauté Économique et Monétaire de l'Afrique Centrale, "Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa"). The franc is nominally subdivided into 100 centimes but no centime denominations have been issued.
In several West African states, the West African CFA franc, which is of equal value to the Central African CFA franc, is in circulation. The CFA franc was introduced to the French colonies in Equatorial Africa in 1945, replacing the French Equatorial African franc. The Equatorial African colonies and territories using the CFA franc were Chad, French Cameroun, French Congo, Gabon, and Ubangi-Shari. The currency continued in use when these colonies gained their independence. Equatorial Guinea, the only former Spanish colony in the zone, adopted the CFA franc in 1984, replacing the Equatorial Guinean ekwele at a rate of 1 franc = 4 bipkwele.
|National Song||"La Concorde"|
|Currency||Central African CFA franc (XAF)|
|GDP / GDP Rank||35.85 Billion USD|
|GDP Growth Rate||4 Percent|
|GDP Per Captial||$19056.493 (PPP)|
< 1.0% Hindus
< 1.0% Buddhists
< 1.0% Jews
< 1.0% Other Religions
Including Four Major Tribal Groupings (Fang
President – Ali Bongo Ondimba[α]
Prime Minister – Julien Nkoghe Bekale
|Website||Go to the web|
|Public Debt||61.966 Percent|
|Unemployment Rate||18.505 Percent|
|Labor Force (Occupation)||-|