GABON



Gabonese Republic

République Gabonaise

CAPITAL : Libreville

FLAG : The flag is a tricolor of green, golden yellow, and royal blue horizontal stripes.

ANTHEM : La Concorde (Harmony).

MONETARY UNIT : The Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA Fr), which was originally pegged to the French franc, has been pegged to the euro since January 1999 with a rate of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro. The CFA franc is issued in coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 CFA francs, and notes of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 CFA francs. CFA Fr1 = $0.00167 (or $1 = CFA Fr597.577) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Day of Renewal, 12 March; Labor Day, 1 May; Africa Freedom Day, 25 May; Assumption, 15 August; Independence Day, 17 August; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Easter Monday, Ascension, Pentecost Monday, 'Id al-Fitr, and 'Id al-'Adha'.

TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.


LANGUAGES

French is the official language of the republic. The Fang language is spoken in northern Gabon, and other Bantu languages (Myene, Batéké, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi) are spoken elsewhere in the country.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Gabon is divided into nine provinces, administered by governors, which are subdivided into 37 prefectures, headed by prefects. There are eight separate sub-prefectures, governed by subprefects. These officers are directly responsible to the government at Libreville and are appointed by the president. In some areas, the traditional chiefs still retain power, but their position has grown less secure.

INSURANCE

In 1974, a national company known as SONAGAR was created, 36% owned by the government. In 1986, there were four French insurance companies represented in Gabon. As of 1995, at least ten insurance companies were doing business in Gabon.

DEPENDENCIES

Gabon has no territories or colonies.

Read about the Culture of Gabon. More about Gabon's Culture.

Read about the Geography of Gabon.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barnes, James Franklin. Gabon: Beyond the Colonial Legacy. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1992.

Decalo, Samuel. The Stable Minority: Civilian Rule in Africa, 1960–1990. Gainesville, Fla.: FAP Books, 1998.

D and B's Export Guide to Gabon. Parsippany, N.J.: Dun and Bradstreet, 1999.

Gardinier, David E. Gabon. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio Press, 1992.

——. Historical Dictionary of Gabon. 2d ed. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1994.

——. Historical Dictionary of Gabon. Boulder, Colo.: netLibrary, Inc., 2000.

Gray, Christopher J. Colonial Rule and Crisis in Equatorial Africa: Southern Gabon, c. 1850–1940 Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2002.

McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

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