Gabon, formally the Gabonese Republic, is a sovereign state on Central Africa’s west coast. Gabon is located on the equator and is bounded to the northwest by Equatorial Guinea, to the north by Cameroon, to the east and south by the Republic of the Congo, and to the west by the Gulf of Guinea. It has a land area of about 270,000 square kilometers (100,000 square miles) and a population of 1.5 million people. Libreville is the country’s capital and largest city.
Gabon has had three presidents since its independence from France in 1960. Gabon established a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution in the early 1990s, allowing for a more transparent electoral process and reforming numerous administrative institutions. Gabon also served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from 2010 to 2011.
Abundant petroleum and foreign private investment have helped Gabon become one of the most wealthy nations in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the fourth highest HDI and the third highest GDP per capita (PPP) in the area (after Equatorial Guinea and Botswana). From 2010 to 2012, GDP increased by more than 6% every year. However, due to income disparity, a sizable segment of the population remains impoverished.