On 17 August 1960, Gabon, a country in west central Africa, astride the Equator. The Country gained independence from France. It shares common borders with Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo and the Gulf of Guinea. Autocratic presidents ruled Gabon since independence. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multiparty system and a new constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and institutional reforms.
Gabon has a small population but abundant natural resources, and foreign private investment have helped, make Gabon one of the more prosperous sub-Saharan African countries. Gabon is Sub-Sahara's third largest producer and exporter of crude oil.