The vice president of Gabon, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda, arrived in Cuba for her first official visit to the island. According to the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the dignitary will hold official talks with Vice President Salvador Valdes, with the Deputy Prime Minister and head of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Ricardo Cabrisas, among other authorities.
Cuba and Gabon established relations on March 26, 1974. Since then, they have developed positive bilateral ties and have confirmed the existence of ample potential to be exploited for mutual benefit.
Gabon, officially the Gabonese Republic, is a country located on the west coast of central Africa. It borders Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo to the east and south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It has an area of 267,667 km², and its population is estimated at 2.3 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville.
Since its independence from France on August 17, 1960, the Republic has been governed by three presidents. Of these, El Hadj Omar Bongo was in power from 1967 until his death in 2009, being the longest-serving African dignitary. In the early 90s, the government introduced a multi-party system with a democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process, in addition to reforming numerous government institutions. Gabon has also been a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
The abundance of oil and foreign private investment make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in sub-Saharan Africa, being the 4th with the highest human development index and the third according to GDP per capita, after Equatorial Guinea and Botswana.
Its GDP grew by more than 6% annually in the period from 2010 to 2012. However, due to the unequal distribution of wealth, a minority proportion of the Gabonese population remains economically poor. The country rejoined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on July 1, 2016, after having withdrawn in 1995.
(With information from Prensa Latina)