Located in western Africa, the Gabonese Republic is one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. The per capita income ($13,700) is four times that of many sub-Saharan African nations, but poverty is extensive. Although 85 percent of the population are urbanized, 60 percent of the workforce are engaged in agriculture, and more than a fifth of the workforce is unemployed.

Most Gabonese belong to one of four tribes: Fang, Bapounou, Nzebi, or Obamba. There are also large groups of other Africans, Europeans, and Gabonese of mixed heritage. From half to three-fourths of the population are Christian. Although French is the official language, most Gabonese also speak tribal dialects. Women have only limited rights, and the extent of those rights is often determined by family ...

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