The United States established diplomatic relations with Gabon in 1960 following Gabon’s independence from France. Relations between the United States and Gabon are excellent. The United States applauds Gabon’s efforts to increase regional cooperation on environmental issues, while at the same time urging Gabon to take bold steps to root out corruption and to reform the judiciary and other key institutions to ensure the protection of human rights. Gabon and the United States share a commitment to diversify and strengthen Gabon’s economy, expand bilateral trade, ensure security in the Gulf of Guinea, and combat human and wildlife trafficking.
Gabon is a key player in conflict resolution efforts in the Central African region. It continues to provide peacekeepers to the peacekeeping mission to stabilize the Central African Republic, now under the auspices of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which took over operations from the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA). Gabon also hosts and acts as a driving force behind the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
U.S. Assistance to Gabon
The U.S. works extensively with Gabon on conservation through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and collaborates with large donors, including the UN Development Programme, UNAIDS, UNICEF, and the European Union, on transparency, health, trafficking in persons, and anticorruption programs. Grants through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund assist civil society organizations. U.S. assistance to Gabon also seeks to improve the professionalism of the country’s military officers and senior enlisted personnel by providing training that will help prepare the military to operate effectively in regional peacekeeping and security efforts.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Gabon’s economy continues to be dominated by oil, bespite government efforts at economic diversification, most notably by expanding the lumber and wood transformation sectors. Most foreign investment, including U.S. investment, is, however, still concentrated in the oil and extractive sectors. Gabon is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). U.S. exports to Gabon include machinery, meat (poultry), railway vehicles/equipment, electrical machinery, and vehicles. U.S. imports from Gabon include manganese ores and products, wood and wood products, art and antiques, and rubber.
Gabon’s Membership in International Organizations
Gabon is a member of the African Union, as well as the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
The current Chargé d’Affaires to Gabon is Samuel R. Watson. Other principal Embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Gabon maintains an embassy in the United States at 2034 20th St. NW, Washington, DC, 20009 (tel. 202-797-1000).
More information about Gabon is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Gabon Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Gabon Page
U.S. Embassy: Gabon
USAID Gabon Page
History of U.S. Relations With Gabon
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Travel and Business Information