Gabon, officially the Gabonese Republic, is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. The capital, Libreville, is one of the largest cities in the country. 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 Atlantic Ocean to the west. Gabon has an area of 267,667 square kilometres (103,347 sq mi) and a population of 2.1 million people. The official language is French. The country is home to more than 40 ethnic groups. The first Europeans to arrive in Gabon were the Portuguese in the 15th century. They established a number of trading posts along the coast but were eventually driven out by the local people. The French established a colony in Gabon in 1839 and made it a part of French Equatorial Africa in 1903. Gabon gained independence from France in 1960. Since independence, Gabon has been ruled by a series of autocratic presidents. In the 1990s, a multiparty system was introduced and a new constitution was adopted. However, the presidents have continued to rule in a highly authoritarian manner. Gabon is an oil-rich country and has been a member of OPEC since 1975. Oil accounts for more than 60% of the country’s GDP and 95% of its exports. Gabon’s other natural resources include manganese, timber, and uranium. The economy of Gabon is highly dependent on oil. Oil revenues have allowed the country to maintain a high standard of living and to develop a small but well-educated workforce. However, oil production is now in decline and Gabon is working to diversify its economy. Gabon is a republic with a strong presidency. The president is both head of state and head of government. The unicameral National Assembly is Gabon’s legislative body. The judiciary is independent and the legal system is based on French civil law. Gabon is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of Central African States.

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36.66 billion US dollars

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