Gabonese Society and Its Political and Economic Affairs

Some facts and statistics about Gabon

Location: Gabon is situated in Central Africa. It shares its borders with Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. Gabon borders westwards with the Gulf of Guinea.

Population and Area: The area of Gabon is 270,000 square km and Gabon has a population of 1,475,000 according to the 2009 estimate.

Capital: Libreville

Language and ethnic groups: French is the official language of Gabon, with Fang and Myene being the regional language.  Therefore, it makes sense to hire a French translation worker when conducting business in Gabon.

Following is the ethnic division of Gabon: 28.6% Fang, 10.2% Punu, 8.9% Nzebi, 6.7% French and 4.1% Mpongwe

Economic Overview

GDP growth rate: 4.8%

Oil Exports Trading Partners

It produces 247,000 barrels of oil per day, whereas oil is the major export. Approximately 69% of oil is exported and a 12% of timber is also exported to other countries. Its major export partners are Russia, United States, China and France.  Due to the number of trading partners that Gabon has, it is anticipated that there will be a growing demand for translation services workers and interpreters now and in the immediate future.

International Companies

Gabon has signed deals with companies from Singapore and India to build their infrastructure, to establish palm tree groves and also to develop the timber industry of the country. Olam, Ramky and M3M are some of the international companies operating in Gabon.

Political overview of the country

The country has a presidential system of government where the President is the head of state and elects the prime minister and his cabinet. The President gets elected for a seven-year term and the prime minister and his cabinet are elected for five years. In 1990, major reforms were made in the country’s constitution including a Western-style bill of rights.

Culture and Etiquette prevalent in Gabonese Society

The people of Gabon are very friendly and social. They do not like to indulge in petty trivial niceties and prefer to remain open and upfront about things. The dressing of people is not very formal. Due to prolonged summers in Gabon, they often wear flowered shirts with lose trousers. Women mostly wear skirts. The Gabonese society is close-knit. People like to socialize with each other and even extended relationships hold importance for them.

Business dealings in Gabon

The people in Gabon like to keep formality out of their dealings. They are straightforward and up-front in their business relationships. Often you might feel not being given much space, but that is a part of the Gabonese society. They do not feel any reluctance in commenting on something as they feel about it, to ask something without giving it a second thought and to stare at something which would excite their interest. While doing business in Gabon, one ought to be prepared for these things and there is no point in taking anything personal. Develop a relationship of mutual trust and give people an opportunity to know you before discussing business with them. A respect for the senior officials and a reasonable distance from any women present in the meeting should be maintained.

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