Found on the equator, Gabon, or the Gabonese Republic, is located on the west coast of Central Africa. With an area of approximately 100,000 square miles, its boundaries include the Gulf of Guinea to the west, Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and the Republic of the Congo on the east and south. Because of its location near the equator, Gabon has significant rainforests, which account for about 85% of its topography.
With a population of around 1.5 million, nearly all of its people are Bantu. Interestingly, Gabon is comprised of more than 40 ethnic groups, each with its own language and culture. The boundaries for these groups are very fluid, and people often marry into other groups. For these reasons, tension between groups is often minimal.
Originally part of France, Gabon gained its independence in 1960. For this reason, 80% of the country speaks French, another commonality among ethnic groups. Another point of unity is their government, which is dominated by the Democratic Party of Gabon, as its purpose is to serve the interests of all citizens.
From an economic perspective, Gabon receives nearly half its revenue from oil, but sadly, some predict that its oil will be depleted by 2025. For this reason, significant planning has been put into place to examine how to replace this source of revenue. Addition sources of revenue are logging and manganese mining. A potential new source of income is a large unexploited iron ore deposit, and this is being explored today.
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