Gabon - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportunities
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Extractive industries 

On April 20, 2023, Gabon published its sixth EITI Report covering 2021 revenues from the extractive sector (  The report seeks to increase understanding for potential investors, demonstrate the impact and contribution of the extractive industries to the economic and social development of Gabon, and improve transparency and good governance in all sectors of the supply chain. Gabon’s mineral industry is dominated by the production of manganese, though new iron deposits are being developed in 2023.  In 2021, Gabon was the third largest producer of manganese in the world with annual production of 9.5 million metric tons (mt).  The oil sector accounted for 80 percent of exports, 45 percent of GDP, and 60 percent of fiscal revenue. 

Gabon’s wood sector production reached 4 million m3 of logs in 2022, with the native timber species Okoumé representing 58 percent of overall production, despite more than 60 species of wood available for exploitation in Gabon.  The increase in log production had a positive impact on industrial activity, the production of which increased in all subsectors.  In 2022, sawn wood production stood at 1,297,580 m3, up 275 percent compared to 2010; veneer stood at 589,181 m3, up 199 percent compared to 2010; and plywood increased by 76 percent to 125,831 m3 in 2022.  Between 2018 and 2022, the share of sawing in total wood production fell from 74 percent to 64 percent, while veneer increased from 23 percent to 29 percent and plywood increased from 3 percent to 6 percent.  


The agricultural sector is dominated by small family farms, with an estimated 70,000 subsistence family farms.  They are mainly managed by people over the age of 50, and a 2012 study estimated the average size was only 0.2 hectares. Agricultural production is insufficient to meet the country’s food needs, forcing the country to import an estimated 60 percent of basic food products, particularly cereals and meat products.  To support local agricultural production, on June 10, 2021, the Gabonese Council of Ministers adopted a bill creating the National Chamber of Agriculture (CNA), which compelled supermarkets and other agri-food companies to obtain supplies from local agricultural producers.  The World Bank estimated the value added in Gabon’s agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors to be 6.404 percent of GDP in 2020.  In 2021, Gabon exported 1 billion CFA (about $1.8 million) of fish and other fishing products, according to data from the Gabonese General Directorate of Customs and Indirect Rights (DGDDI), decreasing nearly 28 percent from 2020.  Most of the fishing done in Gabonese waters does not reach the Gabonese economy and is exported directly.  Gabon imports the bulk of its cereal requirements through commercial channels, with cereal imports accounting for approximately 90 percent of the total cereal utilization.  With a population of about 2.3 million, imports of cereals in 2022 were estimated at 196,000 tons, a 15 percent increase from 2021, including about 110,000 tons of wheat and 80,000 tons of rice.  Gabon is facing escalating agricultural food prices, especially wheat since the war in Ukraine began in February 2022.  To keep domestic wheat prices below 25,000 CFA per 50kg bag, the government formally implemented a subsidy of 4,700 CFA ($7.55) per bag to the country’s wheat importers, principally the French company Société Meunière et Avicole du Gabon.  However, companies have complained the Gabonese government does not provide subsidy payments on time.

Environment and Ecotourism

In June 2021, Norway paid Gabon $17 million under the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) to protect its forests.  On March 1-2, 2023, Gabon hosted the One Forest Summit with the French government, which established a new fund to reward countries for “exemplary” actions to protect their forests, safeguard their vital stocks of carbon, and preserve their biodiversity.  It also called for a “fair deal” between forested countries and the international community.  The summit adopted the “Libreville Plan” aimed at creating a unified vision and action plan to protect and sustainably manage these critical ecosystems, following on from the December 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference held in Montreal, Canada, also known as COP 15. The rate of deforestation in Gabon is low, at around 0.1 percent per year, according to satellite monitoring.  Though the small population and concentration of that population in urban centers are major contributing factors to low deforestation, the country’s deliberate public policies have also significantly curbed deforestation and make Gabon one of the view carbon positive countries in the world (UNDP report 2021).

Current ecotourism projects focus largely on the country’s network of national parks.  Plans to develop ecotourism in the parks began to materialize in 2008, following the creation of the National Agency of National Parks (Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux, ANPN) in 2007.  Growth in the segment will depend on the country’s ability to increase access to natural attractions in rural areas.  In March 2021, the Gabonese government presented the “African Ecotourism Safari” project to take advantage of the potential of the country’s 13 national parks.  The project aims to contribute to the development of the tourism sector in Gabon, the enhancement of national parks, and the promotion of employment while respecting the criteria of sustainable development and profitability.  However, no action has been taken on this project in the intervening 2 years.