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Geography Now! Gabon
Geography Now! Gabon
Published: 2017/01/18
Channel: Geography Now
[Countries] The Modern History of Gabon
[Countries] The Modern History of Gabon
Published: 2015/01/11
Channel: GalacticPenguinTV
Gabon Ancient cities,people And History geography-kids educational video
Gabon Ancient cities,people And History geography-kids educational video
Published: 2015/11/03
Channel: Telugu Discovery
History of Gabon Top # 10 Facts
History of Gabon Top # 10 Facts
Published: 2015/10/29
Channel: Trikam Chuhan
Gabon: Rich From Oil - Equator - BBC
Gabon: Rich From Oil - Equator - BBC
Published: 2014/12/26
Channel: BBCWorldwide
History of what today is: Gabon + The Gambia [#41]
History of what today is: Gabon + The Gambia [#41]
Published: 2016/08/14
Channel: Vologda Mapping
GABON HISTORY!
GABON HISTORY!
Published: 2017/06/25
Channel: Benhamslibrary
7 Facts about Gabon
7 Facts about Gabon
Published: 2017/02/11
Channel: Sebastian Ioan
Gabon: People of the Forest
Gabon: People of the Forest
Published: 2011/11/18
Channel: United Nations
Back To The Roots: The Story Of Gabon Star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Back To The Roots: The Story Of Gabon Star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Published: 2017/01/18
Channel: DW - Kick off!
Historical and Cultural Facts About Gabon
Historical and Cultural Facts About Gabon
Published: 2017/08/10
Channel: Health Apta
Basketball dreams for Gabon’s young stars
Basketball dreams for Gabon’s young stars
Published: 2017/02/07
Channel: Al Jazeera English
Gabon, a country of opportunities   The Official Portal of the Gabonese Republic
Gabon, a country of opportunities The Official Portal of the Gabonese Republic
Published: 2013/08/27
Channel: Gabon Mining
Gabon Including its History, The Ogoou�, The  Ivindo River, and More
Gabon Including its History, The Ogoou�, The Ivindo River, and More
Published: 2017/06/19
Channel: Danica Y
History of Gabon
History of Gabon
Published: 2015/02/25
Channel: Pooh C.
History and Tourism of Gabon, Culture, Tradition and People Tourist attraction and Sights
History and Tourism of Gabon, Culture, Tradition and People Tourist attraction and Sights
Published: 2017/07/01
Channel: anti makan
SURVIVOR Gabon Moments In History
SURVIVOR Gabon Moments In History
Published: 2017/07/31
Channel: Outwit Outplay Outlast
#AfricaAsOne Part 20: Unmasking Gabon
#AfricaAsOne Part 20: Unmasking Gabon
Published: 2015/05/22
Channel: DHL Africa
Oklo, the Two Billion Year Old Nuclear Reactor
Oklo, the Two Billion Year Old Nuclear Reactor
Published: 2015/01/12
Channel: SciShow
1.8 Million Year Old "Nuclear Reactor" Found In Africa?
1.8 Million Year Old "Nuclear Reactor" Found In Africa?
Published: 2017/07/19
Channel: Mystery History
TODAY IN HISTORY - Independence Days of Gabon and Indonesia - 17 Aug 2010
TODAY IN HISTORY - Independence Days of Gabon and Indonesia - 17 Aug 2010
Published: 2010/08/27
Channel: NoteworthyNews
MISS UNIVERSE♛ ●GABON●HD
MISS UNIVERSE♛ ●GABON●HD
Published: 2016/07/28
Channel: MissUniverseFan
Birthday Surprise Full short Movie || Hadiza Gabon & Alvard Van Graan Hollywood / Kannywood Movie
Birthday Surprise Full short Movie || Hadiza Gabon & Alvard Van Graan Hollywood / Kannywood Movie
Published: 2017/02/19
Channel: This is AREWA
Researchers discover a 2 billion year old Nuclear Reactor in Africa
Researchers discover a 2 billion year old Nuclear Reactor in Africa
Published: 2017/07/12
Channel: UFOmania - The truth is out there
TODAY IN HISTORY   Independence Days of Gabon and Indonesia   17 Aug 2010
TODAY IN HISTORY Independence Days of Gabon and Indonesia 17 Aug 2010
Published: 2015/04/04
Channel: Chemistry of Freedom
Gabon Travel Video
Gabon Travel Video
Published: 2014/08/11
Channel: Travel Videos
Business Opportunities in Gabon - Part 1
Business Opportunities in Gabon - Part 1
Published: 2012/11/13
Channel: CNBCAfrica
Survivor Gabon Awards
Survivor Gabon Awards
Published: 2014/07/10
Channel: Survivor Fan
Survivor: Gabon - Immunity Challenge: Cliff Bowling
Survivor: Gabon - Immunity Challenge: Cliff Bowling
Published: 2008/10/17
Channel: CBS
Alternate History: Greater Congo and the Invasion of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea
Alternate History: Greater Congo and the Invasion of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea
Published: 2017/05/07
Channel: Golden_Dragon_Dynasty
Today in History: Outbreak of Ebola fever in Gabon
Today in History: Outbreak of Ebola fever in Gabon
Published: 2016/12/09
Channel: WION
TODAY IN HISTORY - National Days of Gabon, Indonesia - 17 Aug 2011
TODAY IN HISTORY - National Days of Gabon, Indonesia - 17 Aug 2011
Published: 2011/09/20
Channel: NoteworthyNews
Gabon President Leaves Inheritance To Country
Gabon President Leaves Inheritance To Country's Youth
Published: 2015/08/24
Channel: Sky News
Sierra Leone: Efforts to preserve slave trade history
Sierra Leone: Efforts to preserve slave trade history
Published: 2016/09/24
Channel: Al Jazeera English
Gabon Art, Culture and History Environment, People, Ethnics, Government, tourism
Gabon Art, Culture and History Environment, People, Ethnics, Government, tourism
Published: 2017/04/04
Channel: ngng wewe
Gabon Special Economic Zone
Gabon Special Economic Zone
Published: 2015/03/05
Channel: Innovest Group
Faces of Africa - Tragedy to Triumph: The story of Zambian Football
Faces of Africa - Tragedy to Triumph: The story of Zambian Football
Published: 2013/09/03
Channel: CGTN Africa
Indépendance du Gabon
Indépendance du Gabon
Published: 2015/08/29
Channel: atelierdesarchives History
Gabon Art, Culture and History Environment, People, Ethnics, Government, tourism
Gabon Art, Culture and History Environment, People, Ethnics, Government, tourism
Published: 2017/06/20
Channel: andri bajan
What Is The Meaning Of The Gabon Flag?
What Is The Meaning Of The Gabon Flag?
Published: 2017/07/24
Channel: trendy sparky
Gabon fetes Independence Day in a tense atmosphere
Gabon fetes Independence Day in a tense atmosphere
Published: 2012/08/17
Channel: AFP news agency
RTG Gabon history in pictures Istoria RTG Gabon în imagini
RTG Gabon history in pictures Istoria RTG Gabon în imagini
Published: 2016/09/22
Channel: Teleradio Fabian
Gor to face U.S Bitam of Gabon in the first leg of the Africa club champions league
Gor to face U.S Bitam of Gabon in the first leg of the Africa club champions league
Published: 2014/02/05
Channel: KTN News Kenya
Émission Gabon Talent Show PRIME 2
Émission Gabon Talent Show PRIME 2
Published: 2015/09/03
Channel: Direct Prod
Ayman Mansour goal Egypt vs Gabon CAN 1994 أسرع  هدف فى كأس الأمم الأفريقية أيمن منصور
Ayman Mansour goal Egypt vs Gabon CAN 1994 أسرع هدف فى كأس الأمم الأفريقية أيمن منصور
Published: 2017/02/02
Channel: NADER MOHAMED RABEA
Gabon : le gouvernement fait un pas de plus vers le "dialogue national"
Gabon : le gouvernement fait un pas de plus vers le "dialogue national"
Published: 2017/02/14
Channel: africanews (en français)
10 people are already killed in Gabon
10 people are already killed in Gabon
Published: 2016/09/01
Channel: News24
Libreville, Gabon - Port Report
Libreville, Gabon - Port Report
Published: 2016/08/18
Channel: Logos Hope
GABON 2017 - Celebrate Africa
GABON 2017 - Celebrate Africa's biggest football tournament
Published: 2017/01/04
Channel: DStvNg
[WWII] Allied Invasion of French Gabon (1940): Every Day
[WWII] Allied Invasion of French Gabon (1940): Every Day
Published: 2015/05/17
Channel: GalacticPenguinTV
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Little is known of the history of Gabon prior to European contact. Bantu migrants settled the area beginning in the 14th century. Portuguese explorers and traders arrived in the area in the late 15th century. The coast subsequently became a center of the slave trade with Dutch, English, and French traders arriving in the 16th century. In 1839 and 1841, France established a protectorate over the coast.

In 1849, captives released from a captured slave ship founded Libreville. In 1862-1887, France expanded its control to include the interior, and took full sovereignty.

In 1910 Gabon became part of French Equatorial Africa and in 1960, Gabon became independent.

At the time of Gabon's independence, two principal political parties existed: the Gabonese Democratic Bloc (BDG), led by Léon M'Ba, and the Gabonese Democratic and Social Union (UDSG), led by Jean-Hilaire Aubame. In the first post-independence election, held under a parliamentary system, neither party was able to win a majority; the leaders subsequently agreed against a two-party system and ran with a single list of candidates. In the February 1961 election, held under the new presidential system, M'Ba became President and Aubame became Foreign Minister. The single-party solution disintegrated in 1963, and there was a single-day bloodless coup in 1964. In March 1967, Leon M'Ba and Omar Bongo were elected President and Vice President. M'Ba died later that year. Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state, dissolved the BDG and established the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG). Sweeping political reforms in 1990 led to a new constitution, and the PDG garnered a large majority in the country's first multi-party elections in 30 years. Despite discontent from opposition parties, Bongo has remained president ever since.

Early history[edit]

Gabon was settled from the 14th century by Bantu. Little is known of tribal life before European contact but tribal art suggests a rich cultural heritage.

Gabon's first confirmed European visitors were Portuguese explorers and traders who arrived in the late 15th century. The Portuguese settled on the offshore islands of São Tomé, Príncipe, and Fernando Pó, but were regular visitors to the coast.

They named the Gabon region after the Portuguese word gabão — a coat with sleeve and hood resembling the shape of the Komo River estuary. The coast became a center of the slave trade.

Some Portuguese adventurers established themselves as rulers of areas in Gabon. One such was Ogandaga é Butu, son of a Portuguese father and a Gabonese mother. He ruled some islands along the coast, which are still controlled by his descendant Mbourou Eranga Yanelle Prunella.

Dutch, English, and French traders came in the 16th century.

French colonial period[edit]

"French Congo. Natives from Gabon": Colonial postcard c.1905

In 1839 and 1841, France established a protectorate over the coastal regions of Gabon by treaties with Gabonese coastal chiefs.

American missionaries from New England established a mission at the mouth of the Komo River in 1842. In 1849, the French authorities captured an illegal slave ship and freed the captives on board. The captives were released near the mission station, where they founded a settlement which was called Libreville (French for "free town")

French explorers penetrated Gabon's dense jungles between 1862 and 1887. The most famous, Savorgnan de Brazza, used Gabonese bearers and guides in his search for the headwaters of the Congo river. France occupied Gabon in 1885, but did not administer it until 1903. Gabon's first political party, the Jeunesse Gabonais, was founded around 1922.

In 1910 Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa. On 15 July 1960 France agreed to Gabon becoming fully independent.[1] On 17 August 1960 Gabon became an independent country.

Independence[edit]

At the time of Gabon's independence in 1960, two principal political parties existed: the Gabonese Democratic Bloc (BDG), led by Léon M'Ba, and the Gabonese Democratic and Social Union (UDSG), led by Jean-Hilaire Aubame. In the first post-independence election, held under a parliamentary system, neither party was able to win a majority. The BDG obtained support from three of the four independent legislative deputies, and M'Ba was named Prime Minister. Soon after concluding that Gabon had an insufficient number of people for a two-party system, the two party leaders agreed on a single list of candidates. In the February 1961 election, held under the new presidential system, M'Ba became president and Aubame became foreign minister.

This one-party system appeared to work until February 1963, when the larger BDG element forced the UDSG members to choose between a merger of the parties or resignation. The UDSG cabinet ministers resigned, and M'Ba called an election for February 1964 and a reduced number of National Assembly deputies (from 67 to 47). The UDSG failed to muster a list of candidates able to meet the requirements of the electoral decrees. When the BDG appeared likely to win the election by default, the Gabonese military toppled M'Ba in a bloodless coup on 18 February 1964. French troops re-established his government the next day. Elections were held in April 1964 with many opposition participants. BDG-supported candidates won 31 seats and the opposition 16. Late in 1966, the constitution was revised to provide for automatic succession of the vice president should the president die in office. In March 1967, Leon M'Ba and Omar Bongo (then known as Albert Bongo) were elected President and Vice President, with the BDG winning all 47 seats in the National Assembly. M'Ba died later that year, and Omar Bongo became president.

In March 1968 Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state by dissolving the BDG and establishing a new party: the Gabonese Democratic Party (Parti Démocratique Gabonais) (PDG). He invited all Gabonese, regardless of previous political affiliation, to participate. Bongo was elected President in February 1973; in April 1975, the office of vice president was abolished and replaced by the office of prime minister, who had no right to automatic succession. Bongo was re-elected president in December 1979 and November 1986 to 7-year terms. Using the PDG as a tool to submerge the regional and tribal rivalries that divided Gabonese politics in the past, Bongo sought to forge a single national movement in support of the government's development policies.

Economic discontent and a desire for political liberalization provoked violent demonstrations and strikes by students and workers in early 1990. In response to worker grievances, Bongo negotiated on a sector-by-sector basis, making significant wage concessions. In addition, he promised to open up the PDG and to organize a national political conference in March–April 1990 to discuss Gabon's future political system. The PDG and 74 political organizations attended the conference. Participants essentially divided into two loose coalitions, the ruling PDG and its allies, and the United Front of Opposition Associations and Parties, consisting of the breakaway Morena Fundamental and the Gabonese Progress Party.

The April 1990 conference approved sweeping political reforms, including creation of a national Senate, decentralization of the budgetary process, freedom of assembly and press, and cancellation of the exit visa requirement. In an attempt to guide the political system's transformation to multiparty democracy, Bongo resigned as PDG chairman and created a transitional government headed by a new Prime Minister, Casimir Oyé-Mba. The Gabonese Social Democratic Grouping (RSDG), as the resulting government was called, was smaller than the previous government and included representatives from several opposition parties in its cabinet. The RSDG drafted a provisional constitution in May 1990 that provided a basic bill of rights and an independent judiciary but retained strong executive powers for the president. After further review by a constitutional committee and the National Assembly, this document came into force in March 1991. Under the 1991 constitution, in the event of the president's death, the Prime Minister, the National Assembly president, and the defense minister were to share power until a new election could be held.

Opposition to the PDG continued, however, and in September 1990, two coup d'état attempts were uncovered and aborted. Despite anti-government demonstrations after the untimely death of an opposition leader, the first multiparty National Assembly elections in almost 30 years took place in September–October 1990, with the PDG garnering a large majority.

Following President Bongo's re-election in December 1993 with 51% of the vote, opposition candidates refused to validate the election results. Serious civil disturbances led to an agreement between the government and opposition factions to work toward a political settlement. These talks led to the Paris Accords in November 1994, under which several opposition figures were included in a government of national unity, and constitutional reforms were approved in a referendum in 1995. This arrangement soon broke down, however, and the 1996 and 1997 legislative and municipal elections provided the background for renewed partisan politics. The PDG won a landslide victory in the legislative election, but several major cities, including Libreville, elected opposition mayors during the 1997 local election.

Modern times[edit]

President Bongo coasted to easy re-elections in December 1998 and November 2005, with large majorities of the vote against a divided opposition. While Bongo's major opponents rejected the outcome as fraudulent, some international observers characterized the results as representative despite any perceived irregularities. Legislative elections held in 2001-2002, which were boycotted by a number of smaller opposition parties and were widely criticized for their administrative weaknesses, produced a National Assembly almost completely dominated by the PDG and allied independents.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Petringa, Maria (2006), Brazza, A Life for Africa.
  • Schilling, Heinar (1937), Germanisches Leben, Koehler and Amelang, Leipzig, Germany.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Nnang Ndong, Léon Modeste (2011). L'Effort de Guerre de l'Afrique: Le Gabon dans la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, 1939-1947. Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 9782296553903. 

External links[edit]

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