The Gabonese Republic has an estimated population of 1.5 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Libreville. Gabon has an area of 267,667 sq km (103, 347 sq miles). The main languages are French and Bantu-group languages.
Considered as the most prosperous and stable country in Africa, Gabon gained its independence in 1960 from France. Former Omar Bongo is considered as the longest serving president in the world. He dominated the country’s political scene for four decades until his death in June 2009. His son, Ali Bongo, won the 2009 elections.
Polygamy remains a tradition that is still practiced in Gabon. In the past, a man could have up to 50 wives, but the current government has limited the number to four. Although some women hold high-ranking position in the army and the judiciary, women are still discriminated based on customary laws such as marriage, divorce and inheritance.