Only two autocratic
presidents have ruled Gabon since independence from France in 1960. The
current president of Gabon, El Hadj Omar BONGO Ondimba - one of the
longest-serving heads of state in the world - has dominated the
country's political scene for four decades. President BONGO introduced
a nominal multiparty system and a new constitution in the early 1990s.
Abundant natural resources and considerable foreign support have helped
make Gabon one of the more prosperous and stable African countries. French
the official language; Fang, Myene, Nzebi, Bapounou/Eschira, and
Bandjabi are also spoken.