back to Map of Africa

The flag and Coat of Arms of Gabon are shown above.

Gabon is located on the equator and on the Atlantic coast of Africa.

The pygmy peoples inhabited the region known as Gabon and Congo. The term is not well-received these days, being considered pejorative, but, as noted in Wikipedia, there is no know substitute at this time.

The colonial era…

France ‘s official presence commenced in 1885 and continued until Independence in 1960. In 1885 boundaries were defined between the nearby German colonies and Spanish colonies. In 1910, Gabon was joined with Chad and Congo and Central African Republic, to become French Equatorial Africa.

Gabon was Vichy French in the early days of WW2. November 12, 1940, they surrendered to the free French and became an important base for the duration of the war.

since Independence …

Following independence, Gabon favored French culture and language and maintained close ties.

The first president, Leon M’ba, had backing from strong interests in France, including Charles De Gaulle, who sent troops to restore M’ba to power in the face of an attempted coup d’etat. De Gaulle’s intervention made a path for Bongo’s to rise to power following M’ba’s death in 1967.

Bongo established a single party rule in 1968. and continued as the prime political leader until his death in 2009. His son, Ali Bongo, succeeded him in 2009 and is presindent until the day of this writing in 2019.

Back to Map of Africa