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International Relations

Coup in Gabon

  • 02 Sep 2023
  • 3 min read

For Prelims: Location of Gabon and its neighbours, Coup in Niger (2023).

For Mains: Effect of Policies and Politics of Countries on India's Interest, How Coup Affects the socio-economic fabric of a nation.

Source: TH

Why in News?

Gabon, a Central African nation, rich in oil but plagued by poverty and political instability, has witnessed another coup attempt by a group of mutinous soldiers who claimed to have seized power and placed the President of the country under house arrest.

  • Coup attempt took place due to allegations of election fraud and corruption against Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba, reflecting the growing discontent within the nation.

What are the Key Points About Gabon?

  • Geography:
    • Gabon, a country surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, is a former French colony, and retains strong ties to France and French language and culture. The capital is Libreville.
    • It shares land borders with Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Congo.
    • Gabon has a population of 2.3 million (2021) and forests covering 88% of its territory.
    • Gabon is widely described as ‘Africa’s last Eden’, the Loango National Park is one of the country’s best wildlife-watching spots.

  • Urbanisation:
    • Gabon has one of the highest urbanisation rates in Africa with more than four in five Gabonese citizens living in cities.
  • Gabon's Economy:
    • Gabon is the 4th largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Strong economic growth over the past decade was driven mainly by oil and manganese production.
    • In 2020, the oil sector accounted for 38.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 70.5% of exports despite efforts to diversify the economy.
    • Gabon is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), but its oil wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few — and nearly 40% of Gabonese aged 15 to 24 were out of work in 2020, according to the World Bank.

Other Recent Upheavals in Africa:

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