Country Profile

Situated on Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, Gabon is part of a select grouping of upper-middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Timber, oil and mineral reserves form the backbone of the economy. The political system is stable and the country plays a leading role in the region through its membership in the CEMAC economic bloc. Gabon has strong ties with Europe, and especially France, for historical reasons, but it has strived in recent years to broaden its economic and diplomatic partners, and several emerging powers from elsewhere in Asia and Africa are playing a bigger role in investment flows. Exogenous pressures, including a drop in commodity prices, especially oil, have presented short-term challenges and prompted budgetary revisions.

This chapter also includes interviews with President Ali Bongo Ondimba and Prime Minister Daniel Ona Ondo, as well as viewpoints from US Vice-President Joe Biden and Pierre Moussa, President, CEMAC Commission.