At the end of 2001, parliamentary elections were held, confirming the dominance of the PDG, when it got 84 out of the 120 seats of the National Assembly. At the urging of Bongo to form a government coalition, Abessole persuaded his party members to join the government.
In March 2002, it was estimated that 60% of deaths in the northern part of the country were due to the Ebola epidemic. The Mekambo region and the border area with the Congo are the most affected zones.
On May 6, 2003, Health Minister Faustin Boukoubi announced that the Ebola epidemic was over.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Gabon. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Security forces destroyed July 4 fishing villages near Libreville, leaving hundreds of families without a roof over their heads. According to the government, the villages were used by drug dealers as an operating base and the destruction was part of the fight against drugs.
In July 2003, the government amended the constitution, enabling Bongo to run for presidential elections as many times as he liked. Bongo whose term expired in 2005 after 36 years in power was sharply criticized by opposition leader Pierre Mamboundou, who declared that the constitutional amendment could allow the president to retain power for life. Mamboundou called on the international community to intervene because “the constitutional amendment is being implemented only to allow Bongo to remain in power and the world must respond to the problems that countries are experiencing”. Since bongo was first elected president, the constitution has been changed 16 times.
In February 2004, French oil company Total Gabón signed an agreement with Unipec to export crude oil to China. Chinese President Hu Jintao personally traveled to Gabon to conclude the one-year agreement, which can be renewed annually. Total Gabon’s director, Jaques Marraud des Grottes, stated that exports will be quite extensive, but did not provide further details. Unipec is a subsidiary of Sinopec, China’s second largest oil company. The cooperation between Libreville and Beijing began in 1974 when bongo visited Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
Since Gabon’s ports are in poor condition and fishing is overseas, FAO launched a program in July to support Gabon’s fishermen. With a loan of US $ 270,000, modernize its fisheries monitoring program and devise a national strategy to promote investment in commercial fisheries. Although private fishing according to. FAO provides work and food to many, so most of the commercial fishing in Gabon’s fishing waters is in the hands of international ships. At the same time, the FAO pointed out that the country’s annual fishing of 40-50,000 tonnes does not meet the demand in the country. Gabon imports 7,000 tonnes of fish products annually.
In September, the country’s oil industry was greatly strengthened due to the discovery of new oil deposits and rising production. Shell Gabón discovered new sources and Vaalco Energy announced an increase in production. This was a radical change from the previous year’s negative figures. The backdrop came after a number – especially North American – companies increased their exploration in Gabon as part of Washington’s strategy to secure at least 25% of US oil imports from Africa in the next decade. The increased investigation was strongly supported by the government of Bongo.
In early 2005, exploration was conducted in Koula, southeast of Gabon’s second most important port city, Port Gentil. The exploration was carried out by PanOcean and Shell over 6 days and produced 6,000 barrels daily, which is enough to make drilling financially viable. Otherwise, production had dropped from 371,000 barrels daily in 1997 to 240,000 in 2003.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Gabon in 2000 was 1,228,249, ranking number 151 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.510% yearly, and the population density was 4.7672 people per km2.