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Gabon has a long history, dating back to the Congo Pygmy people that lived in the region as its earliest inhabitants, followed by the Bantu people who migrated into the region. European explorers arrived in the region that is now Gabon in the fifteenth century, and was named by the Portuguese, who established trade. The French arrived, founding the town of Franceville around 1875, officially occupying Gabon in 1885. Gabon became a French territory as part of French Equatorial Africa from 1910 to 1959, gaining independence on August 17, 1960.
Gabon has a population of about 1.5 million, who are a variety of ethnic groups, including Fang, Punu, Nzebi, and Mpongwe, among others. Most of these ethnic groups are of Bantu origin, with a total of about 40 ethnic groups. About 10,000 of Gabon's population are native French. The official language of Gabon is French, reflecting the country's colonial ties to France, and is spoken by about 80 percent of the population. About 32 percent of the population speaks Fang as a first language. English has been proposed as another official language of Gabon. The predominant religion in Gabon is Christianity, along with Bwiti, Islam, and various native animist religions.
Last Updated On : March 12, 2013
Facts about Gabon
Area103,347 sq mi
CurrencyCentral African CFA franc (XAF)
PresidentAli Bongo Ondimba
Prime MinisterRaymond Ndong Sima