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Gabon, An Example For All Of Africa

1106 words - 4 pages

The country of Gabon is praised as being one of the most successful countries in Africa.Gabon is a very diverse country in many ways. There are a variety of different tribes that callGabon home. Also, the land differs through out the county.Gabon is one of the smaller countries of Africa with the area of 267,670 square miles.Comparatively, this is the almost the same size as Colorado. The terrain of this tiny countryconsists of narrow coastal plains; a hilly interior; and Savannah in the east and south. Much ofthe interior is rain forests and is not arable. Only 1% of the land is arable The remaining land iseither meadows, permanent crops, or other land forms. (The World Fact Book 1995)Gabon is one of the most thinly populated countries in Africa. It has a population ofapproximately 1,155,000 (July 1995 est.) There are 11 people per square mile. The majorityof the Gabonese are of ages 15-64 years. The average life expectancy is 55.14 years. Womenlive to be around 58, while men are usually around 52 when they die. This is why only 5% ofthe population is older than 65. The infant mortality is lower than many other African countries,92.4 per 1,000 live births. (The World Fact Book 1995)As in most African countries, there are many Bantu tribes make up the ethnicity of thecountry. There are four major tribal groups. The Fang, Eshira, Bapounou, and the Bateke.(The World Fact Book)The largest of these tribes is the Fang. They live mainly in the northern area of Gabon.Many years ago they were considered the fiercest warriors of the area. Now, they dominatemany of the countries governmental positions. (World Book Encyclopedia page )One of the earlier tribes that is since gone was the Omyene. They lived along the coast.The Omyene are important because they were the first of the natives to meet the Europeantraders and missionaries. They played an important role of keeping peace with the Europeans.(World Book Encyclopedia, 1992 page 2)Along with there being so many different ethnic backgrounds, there are many religions aswell. The major religion is Christian,75 % of the population. About 1% of the population isMuslim. The remaining 24% are animists. These include all of the tribal practices. (The WorldFact Book)One of the reasons why Gabon has been so successful is that it has a stable government.It is a republic and has multiple political parties. The capitol, Libreville ( aprox. 275,000people), is where all of governmental issues are taken care of. (1996 World Almanac pages764-65)This is where the National assembly, Gabon's legislative branch, meets. Also this is where thepresident lives. President Omar Bongo has been president for 29 years. He has been gettingreelected every 7 years since 1967. ( Clement's Encyclopedia of World Government 1996,page 146)As president, Mr. Bongo has many different jobs. He serves not only as chiefadministrator but also as Head of the State. In order to help him to govern the country well hegets to choose a council of...

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