Gabon Independence Day is celebrated on August 17 annually. Gabon Independence Day is marks the establishment of an independent country when, after more than a century, Gabon claimed its liberation from France.
On this day, locals hold festivities, concerts, parades, and firework displays as a reminder of this freedom. It’s also a day to educate the younger generation and pass on the rich history of their country to make the feeling of freedom come alive. To pay respect to their country’s Independence Day commemoration, all the commercial and administrative establishments are kept shut.
The Portuguese, led by their navigator, Diego Cam, were the first European settlers in Gabon, arriving in 1472. They named the place ‘Gabon’ after the Portuguese term ‘Gabão’ which means ‘cloak.’ Interestingly, the opening of the Como River was also called ‘Rio do Gabao’ or simply ‘Gabao.’ The Portuguese established sugar plantations and developed trade on the mainland. Their trade thrived and spread to most European nations. By the late 1500s, the Dutch, English, French, and Spanish competitors also started trading alcohol, cloth, firearms, and iron goods for ivory, hardwood, and slaves. This slave trade caught the attention of the French colonists, which ultimately became the catalyst for their century-long rule in Gabon.
In 1839, the local ruler in Gabon signed the sovereignty away and granted permission to France to rule the nation. In 1875, a French explorer named Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza started his expedition to Gabon, and in the meantime, he also founded Franceville, one of the largest cities in the country. Gabon officially became a French colony in 1885, and finally one of the four colonies in French Equatorial Africa in 1910.
The French rule faced minor resistance from the citizens of Gabon. However, the forced labor and labor taxes for public health led to considerable interference from the public. Years later, an elite group was formed to promote a ‘pro-French’ but ‘anti-colonialist’ movement. The members of this group went on to become politicians during the Fourth French Republic from 1946 to 1958 when Gabon became an overseas territory of France, but with its own representation and assembly. In 1958, Gabon became an autonomous republic of France. Finally, on August 17, 1960, after a series of multiple cooperation agreements, Gabon was granted complete independence and sovereignty.
South Africa established full diplomatic relations with the Republic of Gabon on 15 October 1992.
During 2020, South Africa had a large net trade with Gabon in the exports of Transportation ($9.76M), Machines ($7.62M), and Foodstuffs ($3.72M). During 2020, Gabon had a large net trade with South Africa in the exports of Wood Products ($2.71M), Vegetable Products ($112k), and Transportation ($9.07k).
The Diplomatic Informer Magazine wishes to congratulate the Government and the people of Gabon on the occasion of the anniversary of the independence day.
We sincerely wish the Government & the people of Gabon continued unity, peace and increased prosperity.