Politics and Economy of Gabon

State structure and political system of Gabon

Gabon is a presidential republic. The Constitution of March 14, 1991
is in force. Administratively, Gabon is divided into 9 provinces (2003): Estuer, High Ogu, Middle Ogu, Nguni, Nyanga, Ogu-Ivindo, Ogu-Lolo, Ogu-Maritim, Wole-Ntem. The largest cities (2003, thousand people): Libreville, Port-Gentil (116.2), Makoku (41.3).
The highest body of legislative power is the bicameral National Assembly: the Senate (91 seats) is the upper house, the Assembly (120 seats) is the lower house. Executive power is exercised by the president of the republic and the government. The head of state and commander-in-chief is President El Hadj Omar Bongo. The head of the supreme legislative body is Georges Raviri. The head of the supreme body of executive power is Jean-Francois Ntuthume Emane. Check cancermatters for political system of Gabon.

The President and Assembly are elected by direct universal suffrage for terms of 7 and 5 years respectively. The Senate is elected by a college of electors (1930 people), representing municipal bodies. The prime minister is appointed by the president and, with his participation, forms the council of ministers.

President Bongo, the founder of the GDP, has been in power since 1967. Under him, in the 1970s and 80s. under the conditions of a liberal economic system that attracted foreign investment, the country achieved rapid economic growth, democratic reforms were carried out (a multi-party system was introduced).

Local self-government bodies – prefects and sub-prefects, who head the provinces and districts, are appointed by the president. In 7 urban communes, local authorities are municipal councils elected for 5 years by general elections.

Since 1991, a multi-party system has been adopted. Main parties: Gabonese Democratic Party (GDP), National Association of Lumberjacks (RNB), Gabonese Progress Party (GPP), Democratic and Republican Union (ADERE), Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).

Leading business organizations: Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture, Industry and Mines of Gabon; Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Gabon; National Council of Gabon Business Association; Gabon Mining Syndicate; Syndicate of importers and exporters of Gabon.

Public organizations: Gabonese Confederation of Free Trade Unions, founded in 1991, 16,000 members; The Gabonese Trade Union Confederation, founded in 1969, is a specialized body of the GDP.

In domestic politics: there is a liberalization of public and political life. The population got the opportunity to really use their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, unions and organizations.

Foreign policy is focused on mutually beneficial cooperation in the interests of peace and progress with developed and African countries, an alliance with France, strengthening ties with the Arab world and establishing ties with the countries of the Pacific basin: Japan, China, India, South Korea.

In 1998, the Ground Forces consisted of 3200 people. (including the gendarmerie – 2000 people), in the Air Force – 1000 people, in the Navy – 500 people. Conscription into the army is carried out on a voluntary basis.

Gabon has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1973).

Economy of Gabon

Gabon has the highest per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa. GDP $6.7 billion, GDP per capita $5,500 (2001). Economically active population 600 thousand people. (2001). Inflation 1.5% (2001).
Sectoral structure of the economy in terms of contribution to GDP (1999,%): agriculture 10, industry 60, service sector 30. In agriculture (1999) 60% are employed, in industry and trade – 15%, in the service sector – 25% of the economically active population.

Electricity generation 850 million kWh (2000). The main branches of the mining industry (1999, million tons): oil production is the leading branch of the economy (15.6), as well as manganese ore (2.0), gold (70 kg). Manufacturing industry (1997, thousand tons): gasoline (35), kerosene (90), aviation fuel (72), flour (26), beer (785 thousand hl), soft drinks (410 thousand sang), soap ( 3.3), washing powders (1.0). In 1999, 2.34 million m3 of industrial wood was harvested. The logging industry employs approx. 50 companies.

The production of basic agricultural crops covers domestic demand by less than half. Main crops (1997, thousand tons): cassava (215), plantains (250), sugarcane (175), yams (140), sweet potato (58). Livestock (1998, thousand heads): pigs 208, sheep 173, goats 86, cattle 39. Commercial catch (1996, thousand tons): fish 43.8, shellfish 1.4.

The length of railways is 649 km. Transportation volumes (1997): passengers – 195.5 thousand people; cargo – 2959 thousand tons. The length of the road network is 8454 km, including 838 km of paved roads (2001). Road vehicles in operation (1998, thousand units): cars 24.75, trucks and vans 16.49.

There are 59 airports. International airports: in Libreville, Port-Gentil and Franceville.

Main ports: Port Gentil, Owendo, Mayamba, Nyanga and Libreville. The total displacement of the merchant fleet (1997) is 34.96 thousand tons.

By African standards, the telephone network is well developed. Communication facilities: radios – 208 thousand (1997), televisions – 63 thousand (1997), telephones – 39 thousand lines (1998), cell phones – 120 thousand subscribers (2000), Internet providers – 1 (2001) , Internet users – 18 thousand people. (2002).

In 1997, 170 thousand tourists visited Gabon. Tourism revenue – $7 million.

Main directions of economic and social policy: attracting foreign direct investment in the mining industry, in projects for the development of agricultural production; liberalization of the public sector and creation of new jobs.

The exchange rate of the national currency, the CFA franc, is rigidly pegged to the euro. Foreign exchange reserves $19.09 million (1999). Demand deposits in commercial banks 189.4 billion francs. CFA, cash in free circulation – 97.8 billion francs. CFA.

State budget (2002): revenue $1.8 billion, expenditure $1.8 billion. Public debt $3.6 billion (2001).

In 1996, the minimum wage for an employee was $129.5. 20% urban and St. 40% of the rural population lives below the poverty line.

In 2001, exports amounted to 2.5 billion, and imports – 921 million US dollars. Export (2000): USA (51%), France (17%), China (8%), Antilles (4%). Imports (2000): France (62%), Côte d’Ivoire (7%), USA (5%), Belgium (3%). The main export commodities are crude oil (81%), timber, manganese; imported – machinery, food, chemical industry products, building materials.

Politics of Gabon