More information about Gabon is available on the Gabon Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Gabon in 1960, following its independence from France. Although structurally multi-party, in practice, Gabon had a one-party system until 1963. This was followed over the next few years by a military coup, French military intervention, elections, and the establishment of a one-party state. The 1990s saw protests and some moves toward political reform and multiparty democracy. After Gabon's 42-year president died in 2009, elections were held, and his son, Ali Bongo Ondimba became president.
Relations between the United States and Gabon are excellent. The United States has welcomed the reforms that Gabon has taken to bring more transparency and accountability to government, at the same time urging Gabon to take bold steps to root out corruption and to reform the judiciary and other key institutions to ensure the protection of human rights. The United States applauds Gabon's efforts toward greater regional cooperation on environmental issues. The two countries work together to help diversify Gabon's economic potential, ensure security in the Gulf of Guinea, and expand their bilateral trade.
Gabon is a key player in conflict resolution efforts in the Central African region. It provides peacekeepers to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) peacekeeping mission to stabilize the Central African Republic. Gabon also hosts and acts as a driving force behind ECCAS, which is establishing a regional standby peacekeeping brigade under the auspices of the African Union’s African Standby Force.
U.S. Assistance to Gabon
U.S. assistance to Gabon seeks to improve the professionalism of the country’s military officers and senior enlisted personnel by providing training that will help prepare the military to operate effectively in regional peacekeeping and security efforts. Gabon, a leader in maritime security efforts, is a participant in the Africa Partnership Station program supported through the Africa Maritime Security Initiative.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Gabon's economy is dominated by oil, although the government is diversifying it, most notably in agribusiness. Most foreign investment, including U.S. investment, is concentrated in the oil and mineral sectors. Gabon is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. exports to Gabon include machinery, agricultural products, vehicles, and optic and medical instruments. U.S. imports from Gabon include crude oil, manganese ores, agricultural products, returns, and wood.
Gabon's Membership in International Organizations
Gabon is a member of the African Union and Gabon and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Gabon maintains an embassy in the United States at 1630 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC, 20009 (tel. 202-797-1000).
More information about Gabon is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Gabon Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Gabon Page
U.S. Embassy: Gabon
History of U.S. Relations With Gabon
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information