Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
August 23, 2013


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.


U.S.-GABON RELATIONS

The United States established diplomatic relations with Gabon in 1960 following Gabon’s independence from France. Relations between the United States and Gabon are excellent. The United States welcomes the reforms that Gabon is making to bring more transparency and accountability to government, while 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 to increase regional cooperation on environmental issues. Gabon and the United States share a commitment to diversify and strengthen Gabon's economy, expand bilateral trade, ensure security in the Gulf of Guinea, and combat trafficking.

Gabon is a key player in conflict resolution efforts in the Central African region. It provided peacekeepers to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) peacekeeping mission to stabilize the Central African Republic and continues to do so to the newly established African-Led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR). 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

The U.S. works extensively with Gabon on conservation through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and collaborates with large donors, including UN Development Program, UNAIDS, UNICEF, and the European Union, on transparency, health, anti-trafficking in persons, and anticorruption programs. Grants through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund assist civil society organizations. U.S. assistance to Gabon also 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. Notably, the United States Marine Corps and Navy trained the Gabonese in counternarcotics tactics and anti-poaching initiatives. 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. The government is focused on economic diversification, most notably by expanding the agribusiness and tourism sectors. Most foreign investment, including U.S. investment, is concentrated in the oil and extractive sectors. Gabon is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). U.S. exports to Gabon include machinery, agricultural products, vehicles, and optical and medical instruments. U.S. imports from Gabon include crude oil, manganese ores, agricultural products, 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.

Bilateral Representation

There is currently no U.S. Ambassador to Gabon; Dante Paradiso is the Chargé d'Affaires. Other principal Embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

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
Travel and Business Information

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