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Gabon vs. Cameroon

Introduction

GabonCameroon
BackgroundFollowing, independence from France in 1960, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the longest-ruling heads of state in the world - dominated the country's political scene for four decades (1967-2009). President BONGO introduced a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s. However, allegations of electoral fraud during local elections in December 2002 and the presidential election in 2005 exposed the weaknesses of formal political structures in Gabon. Following President BONGO's death in 2009, a new election brought his son, Ali BONGO Ondimba, to power. Despite constrained political conditions, Gabon's small population, abundant natural resources, and considerable foreign support have helped make it one of the more stable African countries.
President Ali BONGO Ondimba’s controversial August 2016 reelection sparked unprecedented opposition protests that resulted in the burning of the parliament building. The election was contested by the opposition after fraudulent results were flagged by international election observers. Gabon’s Constitutional Court reviewed the election results but ruled in favor of President BONGO, upholding his win and extending his mandate to 2023.
French Cameroon became independent in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon. The following year the southern portion of neighboring British Cameroon voted to merge with the new country to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. In 1972, a new constitution replaced the federation with a unitary state, the United Republic of Cameroon. The country has generally enjoyed stability, which has enabled the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite slow movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of President Paul BIYA.

Geography

GabonCameroon
LocationCentral Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean at the Equator, between Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea
Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates1 00 S, 11 45 E
6 00 N, 12 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 267,667 sq km
land: 257,667 sq km
water: 10,000 sq km
total: 475,440 sq km
land: 472,710 sq km
water: 2,730 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Colorado
slightly larger than California
Land boundariestotal: 3,261 km
border countries (3): Cameroon 349 km, Republic of the Congo 2,567 km, Equatorial Guinea 345 km
total: 5,018 km
border countries (6): Central African Republic 901 km, Chad 1,116 km, Republic of the Congo 494 km, Equatorial Guinea 183 km, Gabon 349 km, Nigeria 1,975 km
Coastline885 km
402 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
Climatetropical; always hot, humid
varies with terrain, from tropical along coast to semiarid and hot in north
Terrainnarrow coastal plain; hilly interior; savanna in east and south
diverse, with coastal plain in southwest, dissected plateau in center, mountains in west, plains in north
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 377 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Iboundji 1,575 m
mean elevation: 667 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Fako 4,095 m (on Cameroon Mountain)
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, diamond, niobium, manganese, uranium, gold, timber, iron ore, hydropower
petroleum, bauxite, iron ore, timber, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 19%
arable land 1.2%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 17.2%
forest: 81%
other: 0% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 20.6%
arable land 13.1%; permanent crops 3.3%; permanent pasture 4.2%
forest: 41.7%
other: 37.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land40 sq km (2012)
290 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsNA
volcanic activity with periodic releases of poisonous gases from Lake Nyos and Lake Monoun volcanoes
volcanism: Mt. Cameroon (elev. 4,095 m), which last erupted in 2000, is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa; lakes in Oku volcanic field have released fatal levels of gas on occasion, killing some 1,700 people in 1986
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; poaching
waterborne diseases are prevalent; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; poaching; overfishing
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notea small population and oil and mineral reserves have helped Gabon become one of Africa's wealthier countries; in general, these circumstances have allowed the country to maintain and conserve its pristine rain forest and rich biodiversity
sometimes referred to as the hinge of Africa because of its central location on the continent and its position at the west-south juncture of the Gulf of Guinea; throughout the country there are areas of thermal springs and indications of current or prior volcanic activity; Mount Cameroon, the highest mountain in Sub-Saharan west Africa, is an active volcano

Demographics

GabonCameroon
Population1,738,541
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
24,360,803
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.98% (male 366,875/female 363,031)
15-24 years: 20.37% (male 177,501/female 176,653)
25-54 years: 29.59% (male 257,841/female 256,604)
55-64 years: 4.28% (male 35,895/female 38,533)
65 years and over: 3.77% (male 28,137/female 37,471) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 42.6% (male 5,228,047/female 5,149,228)
15-24 years: 19.55% (male 2,393,598/female 2,368,557)
25-54 years: 30.71% (male 3,762,054/female 3,718,266)
55-64 years: 3.97% (male 471,306/female 495,462)
65 years and over: 3.18% (male 360,386/female 413,899) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.6 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.8 years (2016 est.)
total: 18.5 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 18.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.92% (2016 est.)
2.58% (2016 est.)
Birth rate34.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
35.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate13.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 45.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 38 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 52.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 55.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 52.1 years
male: 51.6 years
female: 52.5 years (2016 est.)
total population: 58.5 years
male: 57.1 years
female: 59.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.43 children born/woman (2016 est.)
4.7 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate3.76% (2015 est.)
4.46% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Gabonese (singular and plural)
adjective: Gabonese
noun: Cameroonian(s)
adjective: Cameroonian
Ethnic groupsBantu tribes, including four major tribal groupings (Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, Obamba); other Africans and Europeans, 154,000, including 10,700 French and 11,000 persons of dual nationality
Cameroon Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, Northwestern Bantu 8%, Eastern Nigritic 7%, other African 13%, non-African less than 1%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS46,700 (2015 est.)
619,200 (2015 est.)
ReligionsCatholic 41.9%, Protestant 13.7%, other Christian 32.4%, Muslim 6.4%, animist 0.3%, other 0.3%, none/no answer 5% (2012 est.)
Catholic 38.4%, Protestant 26.3%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 20.9%, animist 5.6%, other 1%, non-believer 3.2% (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths1,300 (2015 est.)
33,100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official), Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, Bandjabi
24 major African language groups, English (official), French (official)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.2%
male: 85.3%
female: 81% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 75%
male: 81.2%
female: 68.9% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and dengue fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Education expenditures2.7% of GDP (2014)
3% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 87.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 54.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 97.2% of population
rural: 66.7% of population
total: 93.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.8% of population
rural: 33.3% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 94.8% of population
rural: 52.7% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5.2% of population
rural: 47.3% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 43.4% of population
rural: 31.5% of population
total: 41.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 56.6% of population
rural: 68.5% of population
total: 58.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 61.8% of population
rural: 26.8% of population
total: 45.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 38.2% of population
rural: 73.2% of population
total: 54.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationLIBREVILLE (capital) 707,000 (2015)
YAOUNDE (capital) 3.066 million; Douala 2.943 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate291 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
596 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight6.5% (2012)
14.8% (2014)
Health expenditures3.4% of GDP (2014)
4.1% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density6.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate15.8% (2014)
9.6% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth20.3 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
19.7 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)
Demographic profileGabon’s oil revenues have given it one of the highest per capita income levels in sub-Saharan Africa, but the wealth is not evenly distributed and poverty is widespread. Unemployment is especially prevalent among the large youth population; more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25. With a fertility rate still averaging more than 4 children per woman, the youth population will continue to grow and further strain the mismatch between Gabon’s supply of jobs and the skills of its labor force.
Gabon has been a magnet to migrants from neighboring countries since the 1960s because of the discovery of oil, as well as the country’s political stability and timber, mineral, and natural gas resources. Nonetheless, income inequality and high unemployment have created slums in Libreville full of migrant workers from Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, and elsewhere in West Africa. In 2011, Gabon declared an end to refugee status for 9,500 remaining Congolese nationals to whom it had granted asylum during the Republic of the Congo’s civil war between 1997 and 2003. About 5,400 of these refugees received permits to reside in Gabon.
Cameroon has a large youth population, with more than 60% of the populace under the age of 25. Fertility is falling but remains at a high level, especially among poor, rural, and uneducated women, in part because of inadequate access to contraception. Life expectancy remains low at about 55 years due to the prevalence of HIV and AIDs and an elevated maternal mortality rate, which has remained high since 1990. Cameroon, particularly the northern region, is vulnerable to food insecurity largely because of government mismanagement, corruption, high production costs, inadequate infrastructure, and natural disasters. Despite economic growth in some regions, poverty is on the rise, and is most prevalent in rural areas, which are especially affected by a shortage of jobs, declining incomes, poor school and health care infrastructure, and a lack of clean water and sanitation. Underinvestment in social safety nets and ineffective public financial management also contribute to Cameroon’s high rate of poverty.
International migration has been driven by unemployment (including fewer government jobs), poverty, the search for educational opportunities, and corruption. The US and Europe are preferred destinations, but, with tighter immigration restrictions in these countries, young Cameroonians are increasingly turning to neighboring states, such as Gabon and Nigeria, South Africa, other parts of Africa, and the Near and Far East. Cameroon’s limited resources make it dependent on UN support to host more than 300,000 refugees and asylum seekers. These refugees and asylum seekers are primarily from the Central African Republic and more recently Nigeria.
Contraceptive prevalence rate31.1% (2012)
34.3% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 73.1
youth dependency ratio: 64.3
elderly dependency ratio: 8.8
potential support ratio: 11.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 84.3
youth dependency ratio: 78.4
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9
potential support ratio: 16.9 (2015 est.)

Government

GabonCameroon
Country name"conventional long form: Gabonese Republic
conventional short form: Gabon
local long form: Republique Gabonaise
local short form: Gabon
etymology: name originates from the Portuguese word ""gabao"" meaning ""cloak,"" which is roughly the shape that the early explorers gave to the estuary of the Komo River by the capital of Libreville
"
conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon
conventional short form: Cameroon
local long form: Republique du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroon
local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon
former: French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon
etymology: in the 15th century, Portuguese explorers named the area near the mouth of the Wouri River the Rio dos Camaroes (River of Prawns) after the abundant shrimp in the water; over time the designation became Cameroon in English; this is the only instance where a country is named afer a crustacean
Government typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Libreville
geographic coordinates: 0 23 N, 9 27 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Yaounde
geographic coordinates: 3 52 N, 11 31 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 provinces; Estuaire, Haut-Ogooue, Moyen-Ogooue, Ngounie, Nyanga, Ogooue-Ivindo, Ogooue-Lolo, Ogooue-Maritime, Woleu-Ntem
10 regions (regions, singular - region); Adamaoua, Centre, East (Est), Far North (Extreme-Nord), Littoral, North (Nord), North-West (Nord-Ouest), West (Ouest), South (Sud), South-West (Sud-Ouest)
Independence17 August 1960 (from France)
1 January 1960 (from French-administered UN trusteeship)
National holidayIndependence Day, 17 August (1960)
State Unification Day (National Day), 20 May (1972)
Constitutionprevious 1961; latest drafted May 1990, adopted 15 March 1991, promulgated 26 March 1991; amended several times, last in 2011 (2016)
several previous; latest effective 18 January 1996; amended 2008 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
mixed legal system of English common law, French civil law, and customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
20 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Ali BONGO Ondimba (since 16 October 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Emmanuel ISSOZE-NGONDET (since 29 September 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 27 August 2016 (next to be held in August 2023); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Ali BONGO Ondimba re-elected president; percent of vote - Ali BONGO Ondimba (PDG) 49.8%, Jean PING (UFC) 48.2%, other 2.0%
chief of state: President Paul BIYA (since 6 November 1982)
head of government: Prime Minister Philemon YANG (since 30 June 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 9 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Paul BIYA reelected president; percent of vote - Paul BIYA (CPDM) 78.0%, John FRU NDI (SDF) 10.7%, Garga Haman ADJI 3.2%, other 8.1%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (number of seats not fixed; members indirectly elected by municipal councils and departmental assemblies by absolute majority vote in two rounds; members serve 6-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats; members elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 13 December 2014 (next to be held in January 2021); National Assembly - last held on 17 December 2011 (next to be held by July 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 81, CLR 7, PSD 2, ADERE-UPG 1, UPG 1, PGCI 1, independent 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDG 114, RPG 3, other 3
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (100 seats; 70 members indirectly elected by regional councils and 30 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (180 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the 100-member Senate was formed at the time of the April 2013 election
elections: Senate last held on 14 April 2013 (next to be held in 2018); National Assembly last held on 30 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPDM 56, SDF 14; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CPDM 73.1%, SDF 17.6%, UNDP 6.1%, UDC 2.5%, other 0.7%; seats by party - CPDM 148, SDF 18, UNDP 5, UDC 4, UPC 3, other 2
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 4 permanent specialized supreme courts - Supreme Court or Cour de Cassation, Administrative Supreme Court or Conseil d'Etat, Accounting Supreme Court or Cour des Comptes, Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle - and the non-permanent Court of State Security, initiated only for cases of high treason by the president and criminal activity by executive branch officials
judge selection and term of office: appointment and tenure of Supreme, Administrative, Accounting, and State Security courts NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed - 3 by the national president, 3 by the president of the Senate, and 3 by the president of the National Assembly; judges serve 7-year, single renewable terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; county courts; military courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cameroon (consists of 9 titular and 6 surrogate judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and audit chambers); Constitutional Council (consists of 11 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the advice of the Higher Judicial Council of Cameroon, a body chaired by the president and includes the minister of justice, selected magistrates, and representatives of the National Assembly; judge term NA; Constitutional Council members appointed by the president for single 9-year terms
subordinate courts: Parliamentary Court of Justice (jurisdiction limited to cases involving the president and prime minister); appellate and first instance courts; circuit and magistrate's courts
Political parties and leadersCircle of Liberal Reformers or CLR [General Jean-Boniface ASSELE]
Democratic and Republican Alliance or ADERE [DIDJOB Divungui di Ndinge]
Gabonese Democratic Party or PDG [Ali BONGO Ondimba]
Independent Center Party of Gabon or PGCI [Luccheri GAHILA]
National Rally of Woodcutters-Democratic or RNB-D [Pierre Andre KOMBILA]
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Pierre Claver MAGANGA-MOUSSAVOU]
Union for the New Republic or UPRN [Louis Gaston MAYILA]
Union of Gabonese People or UPG [Richard MOULOMBA]
United Forced for Change or UFC [Jean PING]
Cameroon People's Democratic Movement or CPDM [Paul BIYA]
Cameroon People's Party or CPP [Edith Kah WALLA]
Cameroon Renaissance Movement or MRC [Maurice KAMTO]
Cameroonian Democratic Union or UDC [Adamou Ndam NJOYA]
Movement for the Defense of the Republic or MDR [Dakole DAISSALA]
Movement for the Liberation and Development of Cameroon or MLDC [Marcel YONDO]
National Union for Democracy and Progress or UNDP [Maigari BELLO BOUBA]
Progressive Movement or MP [Jean-Jacques EKINDI]
Social Democratic Front or SDF [John FRU NDI]
Union of Peoples of Cameroon or UPC [Provisionary Management Bureau]
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
Network of Human Rights Defenders in Central Africa or REDHAC [Maximilliene Ngo MBE]
Tribunal 53 [Patrice NGANANG]
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, CEMAC, FAO, FZ, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, BDEAC, C, CEMAC, EITI (compliant country), FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Michael MOUSSA-NDONG (since September 19, 2011)
chancery: 2034 20th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 797-1000
FAX: [1] (301) 332-0668
chief of mission: Ambassador Essomba ETOUNDI (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2349 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; current temporary address - 3400 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-8790
FAX: [1] (202) 387-3826
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Cythia AKUETTEH (since 13 August 2014); note - also accredited to Sao Tome and Principe
embassy: Boulevard du Bord de Mer, Libreville
mailing address: Centre Ville, B. P. 4000, Libreville; pouch: 2270 Libreville Place, Washington, DC 20521-2270
telephone: [241] 01-45-71-00
FAX: [241] 01-74-55-07
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael Stephen HOZA (since 19 September 2014)
embassy: Avenue Rosa Parks, Yaounde
mailing address: P.O. Box 817, Yaounde; pouch: American Embassy, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [237] 22220 1500; Consular: [237] 22220 1603
FAX: [237] 22220 1500 Ext. 4531; Consular FAX: [237] 22220 1752
branch office(s): Douala
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and blue; green represents the country's forests and natural resources, gold represents the equator (which transects Gabon) as well as the sun, blue represents the sea
"three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), red, and yellow, with a yellow five-pointed star centered in the red band; the vertical tricolor recalls the flag of France; red symbolizes unity, yellow the sun, happiness, and the savannahs in the north, and green hope and the forests in the south; the star is referred to as the ""star of unity""
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
"
National anthem"name: ""La Concorde"" (The Concorde)
lyrics/music: Georges Aleka DAMAS
note: adopted 1960
"
"name: ""O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancetres"" (O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers)
lyrics/music: Rene Djam AFAME, Samuel Minkio BAMBA, Moise Nyatte NKO'O [French], Benard Nsokika FONLON [English]/Rene Djam AFAME
note: adopted 1957; Cameroon's anthem, also known as ""Chant de Ralliement"" (The Rallying Song), has been used unofficially since 1948 and officially adopted in 1957; the anthem has French and English versions whose lyrics differ
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)black panther; national colors: green, yellow, blue
lion; national colors: green, red, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Gabon
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Cameroon
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

GabonCameroon
Economy - overviewGabon enjoys a per capita income four times that of most sub-Saharan African nations, but because of high income inequality, a large proportion of the population remains poor. Gabon relied on timber and manganese exports until oil was discovered offshore in the early 1970s. From 2010 to 2016, oil accounted for approximately 80% of Gabon’s exports, 45% of its GDP, and 60% of its state budget revenues.

Gabon faces fluctuating prices for its oil, timber, and manganese exports. A rebound of oil prices from 2001 to 2013 helped growth, but declining production, as some fields passed their peak production, has hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. GDP grew nearly 6% per year over the 2010-14 period, but slowed significantly in 2015 as oil prices declined. Low oil prices also weakened government revenue and negatively affected the trade and current account balances.

Despite an abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management and over-reliance on oil has stifled the economy. There are frequent power cuts and water shortages. Significant cuts in budget expenditures -- Gabon’s budget has contracted for four years in a row -- have not extended to the government’s priority projects, like a new stadium for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Cameroon’s market-based, diversified economy features oil and gas, timber, aluminum, agriculture, mining and the service sector. Oil remains Cameroon’s main export commodity, and despite falling global oil prices, still accounts for nearly 40% of exports. Cameroon’s economy suffers from factors that often impact underdeveloped countries, such as stagnant per capita income, a relatively inequitable distribution of income, a top-heavy civil service, endemic corruption, continuing inefficiencies of a large parastatal system in key sectors, and a generally unfavorable climate for business enterprise.

Since 1990, the government has embarked on various IMF and World Bank programs designed to spur business investment, increase efficiency in agriculture, improve trade, and recapitalize the nation's banks. The IMF continues to press for economic reforms, including increased budget transparency, privatization, and poverty reduction programs. The Government of Cameroon provides subsidies for electricity, food, and fuel that have strained the federal budget and diverted funds from education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects, as low oil prices have led to lower revenues.

Cameroon devotes significant resources to several large infrastructure projects currently under construction, including a deep sea port in Kribi and the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project. Cameroon’s energy sector continues to diversify, recently opening a natural gas powered electricity generating plant. Cameroon continues to seek foreign investment to improve its inadequate infrastructure, create jobs, and improve its economic footprint, but its unfavorable business environment remains a significant deterrent to foreign investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$35.98 billion (2016 est.)
$35.1 billion (2015 est.)
$33.75 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$77.24 billion (2016 est.)
$73.7 billion (2015 est.)
$69.66 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.5% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)
4.3% (2014 est.)
4.8% (2016 est.)
5.8% (2015 est.)
5.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$19,300 (2016 est.)
$18,900 (2015 est.)
$18,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$3,300 (2016 est.)
$3,200 (2015 est.)
$3,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4.5%
industry: 46.4%
services: 49.1% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 21.3%
industry: 30.8%
services: 47.9% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA% (2015 est.)
30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 32.7% (2005)
lowest 10%: 37.5%
highest 10%: 35.4% (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.1% (2016 est.)
0.6% (2015 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)
2.7% (2015 est.)
Labor force674,700 (2016 est.)
9.612 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 64%
industry: 12%
services: 24% (2005 est.)
agriculture: 70%
industry: 13%
services: 17% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate28% (2015 est.)
20.4% (2014 est.)
4.3% (2014 est.)
30% (2001 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $2.917 billion
expenditures: $3.464 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: NA
expenditures: $6.497 billion (2016 est.)
Industriespetroleum extraction and refining; manganese, gold; chemicals, ship repair, food and beverages, textiles, lumbering and plywood, cement
petroleum production and refining, aluminum production, food processing, light consumer goods, textiles, lumber, ship repair
Industrial production growth rate-1.5% (2016 est.)
5.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscocoa, coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber; cattle; okoume (a tropical softwood); fish
coffee, cocoa, cotton, rubber, bananas, oilseed, grains, cassava (manioc, tapioca); livestock; timber
Exports$4.395 billion (2016 est.)
$5.181 billion (2015 est.)
$5.559 billion (2016 est.)
$5.756 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiescrude oil, timber, manganese, uranium
crude oil and petroleum products, lumber, cocoa beans, aluminum, coffee, cotton
Exports - partnersChina 15.6%, Italy 7.4%, Trinidad and Tobago 7.2%, Australia 7.1%, Spain 6.4%, South Korea 5.5%, Netherlands 5%, US 4.8% (2015)
China 16.6%, India 16%, Spain 6.2%, Belgium 6.1%, France 6.1%, Portugal 5.5%, Netherlands 5%, Italy 4.9% (2015)
Imports$3.002 billion (2016 est.)
$3.061 billion (2015 est.)
$6.63 billion (2016 est.)
$6.5 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, construction materials
machinery, electrical equipment, transport equipment, fuel, food
Imports - partnersChina 21.5%, France 19.7%, US 6.6%, Benin 4.7%, Netherlands 4% (2015)
China 27.9%, Nigeria 13.9%, France 10.9%, Belgium 4.1% (2015)
Debt - external$5.158 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.883 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.375 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesCooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
590.8 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per dollar -
605.7 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
1 July - 30 June
Public debt43.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
39.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
31.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
28.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.585 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.878 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.416 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.714 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.279 billion (2016 est.)
-$779 million (2015 est.)
-$1.052 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.174 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$14.56 billion (2016 est.)
$30.87 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$230 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate3% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
15.3% (31 December 2015 est.)
12.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
13% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.425 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.382 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.777 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.448 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.314 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.251 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$3.973 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.691 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$4.545 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$4.421 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$6.514 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.993 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues20% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
-5.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 35.7%
male: 30.6%
female: 41.9% (2010 est.)
total: 6.4%
male: 5.3%
female: 7.5% (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 40.8%
government consumption: 15.8%
investment in fixed capital: 31.1%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 39.8%
imports of goods and services: -27.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 76.8%
government consumption: 12.1%
investment in fixed capital: 22.7%
investment in inventories: 0.2%
exports of goods and services: 20.3%
imports of goods and services: -32.1% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving28.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
35.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
42.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
17.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
18.6% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

GabonCameroon
Electricity - production2.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
6.8 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption2.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
6.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports400 million kWh (2014 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production213,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
95,960 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
37,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports200,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
50,830 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves2 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
200 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
135.1 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production420 million cu m (2014 est.)
469 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption420 million cu m (2014 est.)
469 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity600,000 kW (2014 est.)
1.1 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels59% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
28.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants41% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
71.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production21,750 bbl/day (2013 est.)
51,670 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption19,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
43,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports7,212 bbl/day (2013 est.)
14,590 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports5,364 bbl/day (2013 est.)
4,134 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy6 million Mt (2013 est.)
6.5 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 200,000
electrification - total population: 89%
electrification - urban areas: 97%
electrification - rural areas: 38% (2013)
population without electricity: 10,100,000
electrification - total population: 55%
electrification - urban areas: 88%
electrification - rural areas: 17% (2013)

Telecommunications

GabonCameroon
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 18,758
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 1,054,978
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 2.958 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 173 (July 2015 est.)
total: 16.807 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 71 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: adequate system of cable, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, radiotelephone communication stations, and a domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations
domestic: a growing mobile cellular network with multiple providers is making telephone service more widely available with mobile cellular teledensity exceeding 170 per 100 persons
international: country code - 241; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: system includes cable, microwave radio relay, and tropospheric scatter; Camtel, the monopoly provider of fixed-line service, provides connections for only about 4 per 100 persons; equipment is old and outdated, and connections with many parts of the country are unreliable
domestic: mobile-cellular usage, in part a reflection of the poor condition and general inadequacy of the fixed-line network, has increased sharply, reaching a subscribership base of 70 per 100 persons
international: country code - 237; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.ga
.cm
Internet userstotal: 401,000
percent of population: 23.5% (July 2015 est.)
total: 4.909 million
percent of population: 20.7% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediastate owns and operates 2 TV stations and 2 radio broadcast stations; a few private radio and TV stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible; satellite service subscriptions are available (2007)
government maintains tight control over broadcast media; state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), broadcasting on both a TV and radio network, was the only officially recognized and fully licensed broadcaster until August 2007, when the government finally issued licenses to 2 private TV broadcasters and 1 private radio broadcaster; about 70 privately owned, unlicensed radio stations operating but are subject to closure at any time; foreign news services required to partner with state-owned national station (2007)

Transportation

GabonCameroon
Railwaystotal: 649 km
standard gauge: 649 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
total: 987 km
narrow gauge: 987 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway connections generally efficient but limited; rail lines connect major cities of Douala, Yaounde, Ngaoundere, and Garoua; passenger and freight service provided by CAMRAIL (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 9,170 km
paved: 1,097 km
unpaved: 8,073 km (2007)
total: 51,350 km
paved: 4,108 km
unpaved: 47,242 km
note: there are 28,857 km of national roads (2011)
Waterways1,600 km (310 km on Ogooue River) (2010)
(major rivers in the south, such as the Wouri and the Sanaga, are largely non-navigable; in the north, the Benue, which connects through Nigeria to the Niger River, is navigable in the rainy season only to the port of Garoua) (2010)
Pipelinesgas 807 km; oil 1,639 km; water 3 km (2013)
gas 53 km; liquid petroleum gas 5 km; oil 1,107 km; water 35 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Libreville, Owendo, Port-Gentil
oil terminal(s): Gamba, Lucina
river port(s): Douala (Wouri); Garoua (Benoue)
oil terminal(s): Limboh Terminal
Airports44 (2013)
33 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 14
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 14 (2013)
total: 22
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 8 (2013)

Military

GabonCameroon
Military branchesGabonese Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Gabonaise): Land Force (Force Terrestre), Gabonese Navy (Marine Gabonaise), Gabonese Air Forces (Forces Aerienne Gabonaises, FAG) (2012)
Cameroon Armed Forces (Forces Armees Camerounaises, FAC): Army (L'Armee de Terre), Navy (Marine Nationale Republique, MNR, includes naval infantry), Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Cameroun, AAC), Rapid Intervention Brigade, Fire Fighter Corps, Gendarmerie (2015)
Military service age and obligation20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years; periodic government calls for volunteers (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.19% of GDP (2015)
NA% 1.14% of GDP (2014)
1.6% of GDP (2013)
1.62% of GDP (2012)
1.46% of GDP (2011)
1.25% of GDP (2015)
1.25% of GDP (2014)
1.33% of GDP (2013)
1.34% of GDP (2012)
1.31% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

GabonCameroon
Disputes - internationalUN urges Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane Island and lesser islands and to establish a maritime boundary in hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay
Joint Border Commission with Nigeria reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately ceded sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a full phase-out of Nigerian control and patriation of residents in 2008; Cameroon and Nigeria agreed on maritime delimitation in March 2008; sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty, which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries

Source: CIA Factbook