The Gabonese Republic is a country in west-central Africa, sharing borders with the Gulf of Guinea to the west, Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, and Cameroon to the north, with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south.
Its size is almost 270,000 square km with an estimated population of 1,500,000. The capital and largest city is Libreville.
Gabon is divided into nine provinces and further divided into 37 departments.
Since its independence from France on Aug. 17, 1960, the republic has been ruled by two presidents, Leon M'ba and Omar Bongo Ondimba.
In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and anew democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions.
With a small population and abundant natural resources, foreign investment has helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in the region.
The west-central African nation remains heavily reliant on its natural resources. It is an exporter of manganese, iron and wood.
Gabon's principal trading partners are the United States, China, and Russia for exports while importing mainly from France.
Key dates in Gabon after independence
Aug. 17, 1960 -- Declaration of Independence.
Nov. 28, 1967 -- Death of first President Loen M'ba. His successor is named as Albert Bernard Bongo.
1973, 1979, 1986 -- Re-election of President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba under a one-party system.
1990 -- National conference with the establishment of a multi-party system.
1993 -- 1st re-election of President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba under a multi-party system.
1994-- Signing of the Paris Agreement.
1998 -- 2nd re-election of President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba under a multi-party system.;
2004 -- Signing of the Presidential Charter by the parties of the Presidential Majority.
2005 -- 3rd re-election of President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba under the multi-party system.