The Republic of Gabon is an investment friendly and politically stable country located in west Central Africa on the Atlantic Ocean. A Tier 1 African investment jurisdiction, Gabon boasts an abundance of natural resources including gas, iron ore, manganese and hydropower. Gabon is currently the second largest producer of manganese ore in the world and the eighth largest crude oil producer in Africa. Gabon has had strong economic growth over the past decade, driven by its production of oil and manganese.
Gabon is a member of the Commonwealth and signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). It has developed into one of Africa’s more successful economies and is a member of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). Gabon borders with Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Congo, and holds a strategic location along the Gulf of Guinea.
Gabon is sparsely populated, with a population of approximately 2.3 million, and has one of the highest education enrolment rates in Africa, with four universities, and a School of Mines and Metallurgy located in Franceville close to Genmin's flagship Baniaka iron ore project.
The country's capital city, Libreville, and Port Gentil are home to 59% of the population. One in two Gabonese citizens is under the age of 20, and more than four in five Gabonese citizens live in cities. The literacy rate is 89%. French is the official language.
Gabon's 2019 Mining Code (Mining Code) provides a strong legal framework for mining title holders, which is attractive and favourable for Foreign Direct Investment. The Mining Code considers strong ESG principles, with 20% of mining tax revenues allocated to local populations for the implementation of community projects.
In 2022, the Gabon Government established a separate and dedicated Ministry of Mines and Geology, with the Hon. Elvis Ossindji appointed as Minister. The government's focus on mining supports its diversification away from oil and gas, and desire to tap the potential of the country’s very rich iron ore endowment and other minerals. On his appointment, Minister Ossindji said: "We must accelerate, because the mining sector is indeed one of the strategic links in the Gabonese economy”.
History and Politics
The first Europeans in Gabon arrived in the 15th century. Gabon became part of French Equatorial Africa in 1910. The French federation of four territories survived until 1959 and on 17 August 1960, Gabon became independent from France.
Gabon is divided into nine provinces, which are Estuaire, Haut-Ogooué, Moyen-Ogooué, Ngounié, Nyanga, Ogooué-Ivindo, Ogooué-Lolo, Ogooué-Maritime, and Woleu-Ntem. The provinces are further divided into departments.
Gabon is a unitary Republic with a national legislature comprising two (2) chambers. The National Assembly (Lower Chamber) has 143 members who are elected for five (5) years by universal adult suffrage. The Senate (Upper Chamber) has 102 members who are elected for five (5) years by municipal and regional councillors.
The President, currently Ali Bongo Ondimba, is head of state and is elected for a seven-year term (next election 2023). The constitution was amended in 2003 to remove the restrictions on the number of terms a President can serve. The government is led by a Prime Minister in charge of day-to-day executive operations. The President appoints and can dismiss the Prime Minister, Cabinet and Judges of the Supreme Court and has authority to dissolve the National Assembly.
A Minister of Mines and Geology is supported by functional Directeur Generals and technical and administrative personnel who comprise the Mining Administration, which oversees the mining industry with reference to a Mining Code and Implementing Regulations.