Where Is Gabon and What Is the Culture of Gabon?
Gabon is a republic in west-central Africa, its capital and largest city is Libreville; area about 270,000 sq km (100,000 sq miles) and its population is estimated at 2.1 million people. The Gabonese belongs, traditionally, to a large variety of smallish tribal groups, the Fang being the most numerous. The Gabonese are very spiritual people. In fact, their traditions are mostly centered araound worship and the afterlife. Art for the sake of art was a foreign concept to African culture until the arrival of the Westerners.
Formerly part of French Equatorial Africa, Gabon has been independent since 1960. Since its independence from France, the sovereign state of Gabon has had three presidents. There are still strong links with France. 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.
Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the 7th highest HDI and the fourth highest GDP per capita (PPP) (after Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea and Seychelles) 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.
The majority of people live by simple farming, but Gabon is comparatively fortunate with its natural resources. Besides timber, the main item is okoume wood, used for plywood, these include manganese (one of the world’s largest deposits), gold, uranium and a host of other valuable minerals. Much of the country is covered with dense, equatorial forest, which also provides the most valuable exports.