Overblog Suivre ce blog
Editer l'article Administration Créer mon blog
12 juillet 2013 5 12 /07 /juillet /2013 08:23

São Tomé and Príncipe

 officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: São Tomé andPríncipe, located about 140 kilometres (87 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres (155 and 140 mi),  IBM Thinkpad R61i Laptop Keyboard

respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon. Both islands are part of an extinct volcanic mountain range. São Tomé, the sizable southern island, is situated just north of the equator. It was named in honour of Saint Thomas by Portuguese explorers who arrived at the island on his feast day. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

With a population of 163,000 (2010), São Tomé and Príncipe is the second-smallest African country (Seychelles is the smallest African country). It is also the smallest Portuguese-speaking country.  Lenovo 0A62039 Laptop Keyboard

The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe were uninhabited before the arrival of the Portuguese sometime around 1470. The islands were discovered by João de Santarém and Pedro Escobar. Portuguese navigators explored the islands and decided that they would be good locations for bases to trade with the mainland. ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

The dates of discovery are sometimes given as December 21 (St Thomas's Day), 1471 for São Tomé, and January 17 (St Anthony's Day), 1472 for Príncipe,[7] though other sources give different nearby years. Príncipe was initially named Santo Antão ("Saint Anthony"), changing its name in 1502 to Ilha do Príncipe ("Prince's Island"), in reference to the Prince of Portugal to whom duties on the island's sugar crop were paid.  Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

The first successful settlement of São Tomé was established in 1493 by Álvaro Caminha, who received the land as a grant from the crown. Príncipe was settled in 1500 under a similar arrangement. Attracting settlers proved difficult, however, and most of the earliest inhabitants were "undesirables" sent from Portugal, mostly Jews.[8]In time these settlers found the volcanic soil of the region suitable for agriculture, especially the growing ofsugar.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

The cultivation of sugar was a labor-intensive process and the Portuguese began to import large numbers ofslaves from the mainland. By the mid-16th century the Portuguese settlers had turned the islands into Africa's foremost exporter of sugar. São Tomé and Príncipe were taken over and administered by the Portuguese crown in 1522 and 1573, respectively. Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

However, superior sugar colonies in the Western Hemisphere began to hurt the islands. The large slave population also proved difficult to control, with Portugal unable to invest many resources in the effort. Sugar cultivation thus declined over the next 100 years, and by the mid-17th century, the economy of São Tomé had changed. It was now primarily a transit point for ships engaged in the slave trade between the West and continental Africa. HP G62-225NR Laptop Keyboard

In the early 19th century, two new cash crops, coffee and cocoa, were introduced. The rich volcanic soils proved well suited to the new cash crop industry, and soon extensive plantations (known as "roças"), owned by Portuguese companies or absentee landlords, occupied almost all of the good farmland. By 1908, São Tomé had become the world's largest producer of cocoa, which remains the country's most important crop. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

 HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The roças system, which gave the plantation managers a high degree of authority, led to abuses against the African farm workers. Although Portugal officially abolished slavery in 1876, the practice of forced paid labor continued. Scientific American magazine documented in words and pictures the continued use of slaves in São Tomé in its March 13,  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

1897 issue. In the early 20th century, an internationally publicized controversy arose over charges that Angolan contract workers were being subjected to forced labor and unsatisfactory working conditions. Sporadic labor unrest and dissatisfaction continued well into the 20th century, culminating in an outbreak of riots in 1953 in which several hundred African laborers were killed in a clash with their Portuguese rulers. HP COMPAQ NX6325 Laptop Keyboard

This "Batepá Massacre" remains a major event in the colonial history of the islands, and its anniversary is officially observed by the government.

By the late 1950s, when other emerging nations across the African Continent were demanding independence, a small group of São Toméans had formed the Movement for the Liberation of São Tomé and Príncipe (MLSTP), TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

which eventually established its base in nearby Gabon. Picking up momentum in the 1960s, events moved quickly after the overthrow of the Caetano dictatorship in Portugal in April 1974. The new Portuguese regime was committed to the dissolution of its overseas colonies; in November 1974, HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

their representatives met with the MLSTP in Algiers and worked out an agreement for the transfer of sovereignty. After a period of transitional government, São Tomé and Príncipe achieved independence on July 12, 1975, choosing as the first president the MLSTP Secretary General Manuel Pinto da Costa. Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

In 1990, São Tomé became one of the first African countries to embrace democratic reform, and changes to the constitution — the legalization of opposition political parties — led to elections in 1991 that were nonviolent, free, and transparent.Miguel Trovoada, a former prime minister who had been in exile since 1986,  IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard

returned as an independent candidate and was elected president. Trovoada was re-elected in São Tomé's second multi-party presidential election in 1996. The Party of Democratic Convergence (PCD) won a majority of seats in the National Assembly, with the MLSTP becoming an important and vocal minority party. Municipal elections followed in late 1992, in which the MLSTP won a majority of seats on five of seven regional councils. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

 In early legislative elections in October 1994, the MLSTP won a plurality of seats in the Assembly. It regained an outright majority of seats in the November 1998 elections. The Government of São Tomé fully functions under a multi-party system. ASUS X88S laptop keyboard

 Presidential elections were held in July 2001. The candidate backed by the Independent Democratic Action party, Fradique de Menezes, was elected in the first round and inaugurated on 3 September. Parliamentary elections were held in March 2002. For the next four years, a series of short-lived opposition-led governments were formed. Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

The army seized power for one week in July 2003, complaining of corruption and that forthcoming oil revenues would not be divided fairly. An accord was negotiated under which President de Menezes was returned to office.[citation needed] The cohabitation period ended in March 2006, when a pro-presidential coalition won enough seats in National Assembly elections to form a new government.[9]  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

In the 30 July 2006 presidential election, Fradique de Menezes easily won a second five-year term in office, defeating two other candidates Patrice Trovoada(son of former President Miguel Trovoada) and independent Nilo Guimarães. Local elections, the first since 1992, took place on 27 August 2006 and were dominated by members of the ruling coalition. TOSHIBA Satellite L750-ST4N02 laptop keyboard

 [citation needed] On 12 February 2009, there was an attempted coup d'état to overthrow President Fradique de Menezes. The coup plotters were imprisoned, but later received a pardon from President de Menezes.[10]  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

São Tomé has functioned under a multiparty system since 1990. The president of the republic is elected to a five-year term by direct universal suffrage and a secret ballot, and must gain an outright majority to be elected. The president may hold up to two consecutive terms. The prime minister is named by the president, and the fourteen members of cabinet are chosen by the prime minister. Acer eMachines E640 laptop keyboard

The National Assembly, the supreme organ of the state and the highest legislative body, is made up of 55 members, who are elected for a four-year term and meet semiannually. Justice is administered at the highest level by the Supreme Court. The judiciary is independent under the current constitution.  TOSHIBA K000009780 laptop keyboard

With regards to human rights, there exists the freedom of speech and the freedom to form opposition political parties. [11] HP G56 laptop keyboard

The country has embassies in Angola, Gabon, Portugal, Belgium, Taiwan, and the US. It also has a permanent mission to the UN in New York and an International Diplomatic Correspondent Office.

The islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, situated in the equatorial Atlantic and Gulf of Guinea about 300 and 250 kilometres (190 and 160 mi), HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

respectively, off the northwest coast of Gabon, constitute Africa's second smallest country. Both are part of theCameroon volcanic mountain line, which also includes the islands of Annobón to the southwest, Bioko to the northeast (both part of Equatorial Guinea), and Mount Cameroon on the coast of Gulf of Guinea. IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 6478 laptop keyboard

São Tomé is 50 km (30 mi) long and 30 km (20 mi) wide and the more mountainous of the two islands. Its peaks reach 2,024 m (6,640 ft) - Pico de São Tomé. Príncipe is about 30 km (20 mi) long and 6 km (4 mi) wide. Its peaks reach 948 m (3,110 ft) Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

- Pico de Príncipe. Swift streams radiating down the mountains through lush forest and cropland to the sea cross both islands. The equator lies immediately south of São Tomé Island, passing through an islet Ilhéu das Rolas. GATEWAY MT6730 Laptop Keyboard

The Pico Cão Grande (Great Dog Peak) is a landmark volcanic plug peak, located at0°7′0″N 6°34′00″E in southern São Tomé. It rises dramatically over 300 m (1,000 ft) above the surrounding terrain and the summit is 663 m (2,175 ft) above sea level. HP Mini 210-2004sa Laptop Keyboard

Other than agriculture, the main economic activities are fishing and a small industrial sector engaged in processing local agricultural products and producing a few basic consumer goods. The scenic islands have potential for tourism, and the government is attempting to improve its rudimentary tourist industry infrastructure. The government sector accounts for about 11% of employment. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Following independence, the country had a centrally directed economy with most means of production owned and controlled by the state. The original constitution guaranteed a "mixed economy", with privately owned cooperatives combined with publicly owned property and means of production. In the 1980s and 1990s,  ASUS M70 Laptop Keyboard

 the economy of São Tomé encountered major difficulties. Economic growth stagnated, and cocoa exports dropped in both value and volume, creating large balance-of-payments deficits. Efforts to redistribute plantation land resulted in decreased cocoa production. At the same time, the international price of cocoa slumped.  ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

In response to its economic downturn, the government undertook a series of far-reaching economic reforms. In 1987, the government implemented an International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment program, and invited greater private participation in management of the parastatals,  Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

as well as in the agricultural, commercial, banking, and tourism sectors. The focus of economic reform since the early 1990s has been widespread privatization, especially of the state-run agricultural and industrial sectors.  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The São Toméan Government has traditionally obtained foreign assistance from various donors, including the UN Development Programme, the World Bank, the European Union (EU), Portugal, Taiwan, and the African Development Bank. DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

In April 2000, in association with the Banco Central de São Tomé e Príncipe, the IMF approved a poverty reduction and growth facility for São Tomé aimed at reducing inflation to 3% for 2001, raising ideal growth to 4%, and reducing the fiscal deficit. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

In late 2000, São Tomé qualified for significant debt reduction under the IMF–World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. The reduction is being reevaluated by the IMF, due to the attempted coup d'état in July 2003 and subsequent emergency spending.  DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Following the truce, the IMF decided to send a mission to São Tomé to evaluate the macroeconomic state of the country. This evaluation is ongoing, reportedly pending oil legislation to determine how the government will manage incoming oil revenues which are still poorly defined, but in any case expected to change the economic situation dramatically.  TOSHIBA PK130260100 Laptop Keyboard

In parallel, some efforts have been made to incentivize private tourism initiatives, but their scope remains limited.[12]

São Tomé also hosts a broadcasting station of the American International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) for the Voice of America[13] located at Pinheira.[14] SONY VAIO VGN-N11S laptop keyboard

Portugal remains one of São Tomé's major trading partners, particularly as a source of imports. Food, manufactured articles, machinery, and transportation equipment are imported primarily from the EU. ACER TravelMate 3012 laptop keyboard

São Tomé and Príncipe was ranked the 174th safest investment destination in the world in the March 2011 Euromoney Country Risk rankings.[15]

In 2001, São Tomé and Nigeria reached agreement on joint exploration for petroleum in waters claimed by the two countries of the Niger Delta geologic province. After a lengthy series of negotiations, in April 2003 the joint development zone (JDZ) SONY VAIO VGN-FS215Z laptop keyboard

was opened for bids by international oil firms. The JDZ was divided into nine blocks; the winning bids for block one, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, and the Norwegian firm, Equity Energy, were announced in April 2004, HP Pavilion dv5-1120ez laptop keyboard

with São Tomé to take in 40% of the $123 million bid, and Nigeria the other 60%. Bids on other blocks were still under consideration in October 2004. São Tomé has received more than $2 million from the bank to develop its petroleum sector.[16] The first ever census was carried out in 2011 with the help of the National Statistic Institute (INE) of Cape Verde.[18] HP Pavilion DV7-3067cl laptop keyboard

Of São Tomé and Príncipe's total population estimated at 163,784 by the government agency[19] about 157,500 live on São Tomé and 6,000 on Príncipe. All are descended from various ethnic groups that have migrated to the islands since 1485. Seven groups are identifiable: ASUS M70 laptop keyboard

Portugal's long shoreline, with its many harbours and rivers flowing westward to the Atlantic ocean was the ideal environment to raise generations of adventurous seamen. As a seafaring people in the south-westernmost region of Europe, the Portuguese became natural leaders of exploration during the Middle Ages. HP Pavilion DV6-1110eg laptop keyboard

Faced with the options of either accessing other European markets by sea (by exploiting its seafaring prowess) or by land (and facing the task of crossing Castile and Aragon territory) it is not surprising that goods were sent via the sea to England, Flanders, Italy and the Hanseatic league towns. ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

Having fought to achieve and to retain independence, the nation's leadership had also a desire for fresh conquests. Added to this was a long struggle to expel the Moors that was religiously sanctioned and influenced by foreign crusaders with a desire for martial fame. Making war on Islam seemed to the Portuguese both their natural destiny and their duty as Christians.  IBM ThinkPad T42 laptop keyboard

One important reason was the need to overcome the expensive eastern trade routes, dominated first by the republics of Venice andGenoa in the Mediterranean, and then controlled by the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, barring European access,  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

and going through North Africa and the historically important combined-land-sea routes via the Red Sea. Both spice and silk were big businesses of the day, and arguably, spices which were used as medicine, drugs and preservatives was something of a necessity—at least to those Europeans of better than modest means. TOSHIBA PK130260100 laptop keyboard

The Portuguese economy had benefited from its connections with neighbouring Muslim states. A money economy was well enough established for 15th century workers in the countryside as well as in the towns to be paid in currency. The agriculture of the countryside had diversified to the point where grain was imported from Morocco (a symptom of an economy dependent upon Portugal's), while specialised crops occupied former grain-growing areas: vineyards,  HP Mini 110-1150LA Laptop Keyboard

olives, or the sugar factories of the Algarve, later to be reproduced in Brazil (Braudel 1985). Most of all, the Aviz dynasty that had come to power in 1385 marked the semi-eclipse of the conservative land-oriented aristocracy (See The Consolidation of the Monarchy in Portugal.) A constant exchange of cultural ideals made Portugal a centre of knowledge and technological development.  APPLE 607-3241-A Laptop Keyboard

Due to these connections with Islamic kingdoms, many mathematicians and experts in naval technology appeared in Portugal. The Portuguese government impelled this even further by taking full advantage of this and by creating several important research centres in Portugal, SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

where Portuguese and foreign experts made several breakthroughs in the fields of mathematics, cartography and naval technology. Sagres and Lagos in the Algarve become famous as such places. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Until the 15th century, the Portuguese were limited to coastal cabotage navigation using barques and barinels (ancient cargo vessels used in the Mediterranean). These boats were small and fragile, with only one mast with a fixed quadrangular sail and did not have the capabilities to overcome the navigational difficulties associated with Southward oceanic exploration, as the strong winds, TOSHIBA NSK-TAE01 Laptop Keyboard

shoals and strong ocean currents easily overwhelmed their abilities. They are associated with the earliest discoveries, such as the Madeira Islands, the Azores, the Canaries, and to the early exploration of the north west African coast as far south as Arguim in the current Mauritania. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Laptop Keyboard

The ship that truly launched the first phase of the Portuguese discoveries along the African coast was the caravel, a development based on existing fishing boats. They were agile and easier to navigate, with a tonnage of 50 to 160 tons and 1 to 3 masts, with lateen triangular sails allowing luffing. The caravel benefited from a greater capacity to tack. The limited capacity for cargo and crew were their main drawbacks, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

but have not hindered its success. Limited crew and cargo space was acceptable, initially, because as exploratory ships, their "cargo" was what was in the explorer's feedback of a new territory, which only took up the space of one person.[1] Among the famous caravels are Berrio and Caravela Annunciation.  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

With the start of long oceanic sailing also large ships developed. "Nau" was the Portuguese archaic synonym for any large ship, primarily merchant ships. Due to the piracy that plagued the coasts, they began to be used in the navy and were provided with canon windows, which led to the classification of "naus" according to the power of its artillery. They were also adapted to the increasing maritime trade: Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

from 200 tons capacity in the 15th century to 500, they become impressive in the 16th century, having usually two decks, stern castles fore and aft, two to four masts with overlapping sails. In India travels in the sixteenth century there were also used carracks, large merchant ships with a high edge and three masts with square sails, that reached 2000 tons. SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

In the thirteenth century celestial navigation was already known, guided by the sun position. For celestial navigation the Portuguese, like other Europeans, used Arab navigation tools, like the astrolabe and quadrant, which they made easier and simpler. They also created the cross-staff, or cane of Jacob, ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

for measuring at sea the height of the sun and other stars. TheSouthern Cross become a reference upon arrival at the Southern hemisphere by João de Santarém and Pedro Escobar in 1471, starting the celestial navigation on this constellation. But the results varied throughout the year, which required corrections. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

To this the Portuguese used the astronomical tables (Ephemeris), precious tools for oceanic navigation, which have experienced a remarkable diffusion in the fifteenth century. These tables revolutionized navigation, allowing to calculate latitude. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5112WH Laptop Keyboard

The tables of the Almanach Perpetuum, by astronomer Abraham Zacuto, published in Leiria in 1496, were used along with its improved astrolabe, by Vasco da Gama and Pedro Álvares Cabral.

Besides coastal exploration, Portuguese also made trips off in the ocean to gathermeteorological and oceanographic information (in these were discovered the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

and Sargasso Sea). The knowledge of wind patterns and currents, thetrade winds and the oceanic gyres in the Atlantic, and the determination of latitude led to the discovery of the best ocean route back from Africa: crossing the Central Atlantic to the latitude of the Azores, using the permanent favorable winds and currents that spin clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere because of atmospheric circulation and the effect of Coriolis, DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

facilitating the way to Lisbon and thus enabling the Portuguese venturing increasingly farther from shore, the maneuver that became known as the "volta do mar" (English: return of the sea).

It is thought that Jehuda Cresques,  ACER AEZU2R00010 Laptop Keyboard

 son of the Catalan cartographer Abraham Cresques have been one of the notable cartographersat the service of Prince Henry. However the oldest signed Portuguese sea chart is a Portolan made by Pedro Reinel in 1485 representing the Western Europe and parts of Africa, reflecting the explorations made by Diogo Cão. SONY VAIO VGN-CR31/P laptop keyboard

Reinel was also author of the first nautical chart known with an indication of latitudes in 1504 and the first representation of an Wind rose.

With his son, cartographer Jorge Reinel and Lopo Homem, they participated in the making of the atlas known as "Lopo Homem-Reinés Atlas" or "Miller Atlas",TOSHIBA Satellite M30X-214 laptop keyboard

in 1519. They were considered the best cartographers of their time, with Emperor Charles V wanting them to work for him. In 1517 King Manuel I of Portugal handed Lopo Homem a charter giving him the privilege to certify and amend all compass needles in vessels.  Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

In the third phase of the former Portuguese nautical cartography, characterized by the abandonment of the influence of Ptolemy's representation of the East and more accuracy in the representation of lands and continents, stands out Fernão Vaz Dourado (Goa ~ 1520 - ~ 1580), whose work has extraordinary quality and beauty, giving him a reputation as one of the best cartographers of the time. Many of his charts are large scale. HP Pavilion dv5-1215ca laptop keyboard

It was the genius of Prince Henry the Navigator that coordinated and utilized all these tendencies towards expansion. Prince Henry placed at the disposal of his captains the vast resources of the Order of Christ, of which he was the head, and the best information and most accurate instruments and maps that could be obtained.  HP Mini 210-1140LA laptop keyboard

He sought to effect a meeting with the half-fabulous Christian Empire of "Prester John" by way of the "Western Nile" (the Sénégal River), and, in alliance with that potentate, to crush the Turks and liberate the Holy Land. The concept of an ocean route to India appears to have originated after his death. On land he again defeated the Moors, Packard Bell Easynote TM81 laptop keyboard

who attempted to retake Ceuta in 1418; but in an expedition to Tangier, undertaken in 1437 by King Edward (1433–1438), the Portuguese army was defeated, and could only escape destruction by surrendering as a hostage Prince Ferdinand, the king's youngest brother. Ferdinand, TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7222 laptop keyboard

known as "the Constant", from the fortitude with which he endured captivity, died unransomed in 1443. By sea Prince Henry's captains continued their exploration ofAfrica and the Atlantic Ocean. In 1433 Cape Bojador was rounded; in 1434 the first consignment of slaves was brought to Lisbon; and slave trading soon became the most profitable branch of Portuguese commerce, until India was reached. Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

The Senegal was reached in 1445, Cape Verde was passed in the same year, and in 1446Álvaro Fernandes pushed on almost as far as Sierra Leone. This was probably the farthest point reached before the Navigator died in 1460. ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

Meanwhile colonization progressed in the Azores and Madeira, where sugar and wine were now produced; above all, the gold brought home from Guinea stimulated the commercial energy of the Portuguese. ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

It had become clear that, apart from their religious and scientific aspects, these voyages of discovery were highly profitable. Under Afonso V (1443–1481), surnamed the African, the Gulf of Guinea was explored as far as Cape St Catherine (Cabo Santa Catarina),[2] [3] [4] and three expeditions (1458, 1461 and 1471) were sent to Morocco; SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

in 1471 Arzila and Tangier were captured from the Moors. Under John II (1481–1495) the fortress of São Jorge da Mina, the modern Elmina, was founded for the protection of the Guinea trade. Diogo Cão, discovered the Congo in 1482 and reached Cape Cross in 1486; Bartolomeu Dias doubled the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5165 laptop keyboard

thus proving that the Indian Ocean was accessible by sea. After 1492 the discovery of the West Indies by Christopher Columbus rendered desirable a delimitation of the Spanish and Portuguese spheres of exploration. HP Pavilion dv6138TX laptop keyboard

This was accomplished by the Treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494) which modified the delimitation authorized by Pope Alexander VI in two bulls issued on May 4, 1493. The treaty gave to Portugal all lands which might be discovered east of a straight line drawn from the Arctic Pole to the Antarctic, at a distance of 370 leagues west of Cape Verde. Lenovo 04W2236 laptop keyboard

 Spain received the lands discovered west of this line. As, however, the known means of measuring longitude were so inexact that the line of demarcation could not in practice be determined (see J. de Andrade Corvo in Journal das Ciências Matemáticas, xxxi.147-176, Lisbon, 1881), the treaty was subject to very diverse interpretations.

SAMSUNG N145 Laptop Keyboard

On its provisions were based both the Portuguese claim to Brazil and the Spanish claim to the Moluccas (see East Indies#History). The treaty was chiefly valuable to the Portuguese as a recognition of the prestige they had acquired. That prestige was enormously enhanced when, in 1497-1499, Vasco da Gama completed the voyage to India. HP Mini 210-2032tu laptop keyboard

While the Crown was thus acquiring new possessions, its authority in Portugal was temporarily overshadowed by the growth ofaristocratic privilege. After the death of Edward, further attempts to curb the power of the nobles were made by his brother, D. Pedro, duke of Coimbra, who acted as regent during the minority of Afonso V of Portugal (1438–1447). SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W laptop keyboard

The head of the aristocratic opposition was the Duke of Braganza, who contrived to secure the sympathy of the king and the dismissal of the regent. The quarrel led to civil war, and in 20 May 1449, D. Pedro was defeated and killed at the Battle of Alfarrobeira. HP G42-265LA laptop keyboard

Thenceforward the grants made by John I were renewed, and extended on so lavish a scale that the Braganza estates alone comprised about a third of the whole kingdom. An unwise foreign policy simultaneously injured the royal prestige, for Afonso married his own niece, Joanna, daughter of Henry IV of Castile, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

and claimed the kingdom in her name. At the Battle of Toro, in 1476, he fought an indecisive battle, that made him realize that his claims to the Castilian throne were not achievable.Ferdinand and Isabella, in 1478 compelled him to sign the Treaty of Alcántara, by which Joanna was relegated to a convent. His successor,  HP G62-b12SA laptop keyboard

John II (1481–1495) reverted to the policy of matrimonial alliances with Castile and friendship with England. Finding, as he said, that the liberality of former kings had left the Crown "no estates except the high roads of Portugal," he determined to crush the feudal nobility and seize its territories. The Portuguese Cortes held at Évora (1481) empowered judges nominated by the Crown to administer justice in all feudal domains. TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1196 laptop keyboard

The nobles resisted this infringement of their rights; but their leader, Fernando II, Duke of Braganza, was beheaded for high treason in 1483; in 1484 the king stabbed to death his own brother-in-law, Diogo, Duke of Viseu; and eighty other members of the aristocracy were afterwards executed. Thus John "the Perfect, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

" as he was called, assured the supremacy of the Crown. He was succeeded in 1495 by Manuel I, who was named "the Great" or "the Fortunate," because in his reign the sea route to India was discovered and a Portuguese Empire founded.  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

The tendency to secrecy and falsification of dates casts doubts about the authenticity of many primary sources. Several historians have hypothesized that John II may have known of the existence of Brazil and North America as early as 1480 thus explaining his wish in 1494 at the signing of the Treaty of Tordesillas, DELL NSK-DB301 laptop keyboard

to push the line of influence further west. Many historians suspect that the real documents would have been placed in the Library of Lisbon. Unfortunately, due to the fire following the earthquake of 1755, nearly all of the library's records were destroyed[citation needed], but an extra copy available in Goa, was transferred to Lisbon Tower of Tombo, HP Mini 110-1150LA laptop keyboard

during the following 100 years. The Corpo Cronológico (Chronological Corpus), a collection of manuscripts on the Portuguese explorations and discoveries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2007 in recognition of its historical value "for acquiring knowledge of the political, APPLE 607-3241-A laptop keyboard

diplomatic, military, economic and religious history of numerous countries at the time of the Portuguese Discoveries."[5]

Gabon (/ɡəˈbɒn/; French pronunciation: [ɡabɔ̃]), officially the Gabonese Republic (French: République Gabonaise) is asovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, TOSHIBA NB100-11G Laptop Keyboard

Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guineato the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. It has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) and its population is estimated at 1.5 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville. TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

Since its independence from France on August 17, 1960, Gabon has had three presidents. In the early 1990s, Gabon introduced a multi-party system and a new democratic constitution that allowed for a more transparent electoral process and reformed many governmental institutions. Gabon was also a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2010–2011 term. HP 640208-001 Laptop Keyboard

Low population density, abundant petroleum, and foreign private investment[ambiguous] have helped make Gabon one of the most prosperous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the highest HDI[4] and the third highest GDP per capita (PPP) (after Equatorial Guinea and Botswana) in the region. HP Probook 4710S Laptop Keyboard

The earliest inhabitants of the area were Pygmy peoples. They were largely replaced and absorbed by Bantu tribes asthey migrated.

In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived. The nation's present name originates from "Gabão", Portuguese for "cloak",TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

which is roughly the shape of the estuary of the Komo River by Libreville. By the 18th century, a Myenispeaking kingdom known as Orungu formed in Gabon which traded heavily with Europeans. French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875. SONY KFRMBA221A Laptop Keyboard

He founded the town of Franceville, and was later colonial governor. Several Bantu groups lived in the area that is now Gabon when France officially occupied it in 1885. TOSHIBA Satellite M305 Laptop Keyboard

In 1910, Gabon became one of the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, a federation that survived until 1959. These territories became independent on August 17, 1960. The first president of Gabon, HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba, with Omar Bongo Ondimba as his vice president. French interests were decisive in selecting the future leadership in Gabon after independence; French logging interests poured funds into the successful election campaign of M'ba, an évolué from the coastal region. GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Laptop Keyboard

After M'ba's accession to power, the press was suppressed, political demonstrations banned, freedom of expression curtailed, other political parties gradually excluded from power and the Constitution changed along French lines to vest power in the Presidency, a post that M'ba assumed himself. However, HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

when M'ba dissolved the National Assembly in January 1964 to institute one-party rule, an army coup sought to oust him from power and restore parliamentary democracy. The extent to which M'ba's dictatorial regime was synonymous with "French Interests" then became blatantly apparent when French paratroopers flew in within 24 hours to restore M'ba to power. HP AELX6U00210 Laptop Keyboard

After a few days of fighting, the coup was over and the opposition imprisoned, despite widespread protests and riots. The French government was unperturbed by international condemnation of the intervention, and paratroops still remain in the Camp de Gaulle on the outskirts of Gabon's capital. SONY VAIO VGN-FS515B Laptop Keyboard

When M'Ba died in 1967, Bongo replaced him as president.

In March 1968, Bongo declared Gabon a one-party state by dissolving the BDG and establishing a new party — the Parti Democratique Gabonais (PDG). He invited all Gabonese, regardless of previous political affiliation, to participate. Bongo sought to forge a single national movement in support of the government's development policies, HP COMPAQ NC6320 Laptop Keyboard

 using the PDG as a tool to submerge the regional and tribal rivalries that had divided Gabonese politics in the past. Bongo was elected President in February 1975; in April 1975, the position of vice president was abolished and replaced by the position of prime minister, who had no right to automatic succession. Bongo was re-elected President in both December 1979 and November 1986 to 7-year terms.[5]  TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7335 laptop keyboard

Economic discontent and a desire for political liberalization provoked violent demonstrations and strikes by students and workers in early 1990. In response to grievances by workers, Bongo negotiated with them on a sector-by-sector basis,  Lenovo 45N2240 Laptop Keyboard

making significant wage concessions. In addition, he promised to open up the PDG and to organize a national political conference in March–April 1990 to discuss Gabon's future political system. The PDG and 74 political organizations attended the conference. Participants essentially divided into two loose coalitions, the ruling PDG and its allies, and the United Front of Opposition Associations and Parties, consisting of the breakaway Morena Fundamental and the Gabonese Progress Party.[5] TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

The April 1990 conference approved sweeping political reforms, including creation of a national Senate, decentralization of the budgetary process, freedom of assembly and press, and cancellation of an exit visa requirement. In an attempt to guide the political system's transformation to multiparty democracy, DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop Keyboard

Bongo resigned as PDG chairman and created a transitional government headed by a new Prime Minister, Casimir Oye-Mba. The Gabonese Social Democratic Grouping (RSDG), as the resulting government was called, was smaller than the previous government and included representatives from several opposition parties in its cabinet. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The RSDG drafted a provisional constitution in May 1990 that provided a basic bill of rights and an independent judiciary but retained strong executive powers for the president. After further review by a constitutional committee and the National Assembly, this document came into force in March 1991.[5] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Opposition to the PDG continued after the April 1990 conference, however, and in September 1990, two coup d'état attempts were uncovered and aborted. Despite anti-government demonstrations after the untimely death of an opposition leader, the first multiparty National Assembly elections in almost 30 years took place in September–October 1990, with the PDG garnering a large majority.[5] Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

Following President Omar Bongo's re-election in December 1993 with 51% of the vote, opposition candidates refused to validate the election results. Serious civil disturbances led to an agreement between the government and opposition factions to work toward a political settlement.  DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

These talks led to the Paris Accords in November 1994, under which several opposition figures were included in a government of national unity. This arrangement soon broke down, however, and the 1996 and 1997 legislative and municipal elections provided the background for renewed partisan politics. The PDG won a landslide victory in the legislative election, but several major cities, including Libreville, elected opposition mayors during the 1997 local election.[5] TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

Facing a divided opposition, President Omar Bongo coasted to easy re-election in December 1998, with large majorities of the vote. While Bongo's major opponents rejected the outcome as fraudulent, some international observers characterized the results as representative despite many perceived irregularities, DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

and there were none of the civil disturbances that followed the 1993 election. Peaceful though flawed legislative elections held in 2001–2002, which were boycotted by a number of smaller opposition parties and were widely criticized for their administrative weaknesses, produced a National Assembly almost completely dominated by the PDG and allied independents. HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

In November 2005, President Omar Bongo was elected for his sixth term. He won re-election easily, but opponents claim that the balloting process was marred by irregularities. There were some instances of violence following the announcement of Omar Bongo's win, but Gabon generally remained peaceful.[5] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

National Assembly elections were held again in December 2006. Several seats contested because of voting irregularities were overturned by the Constitutional Court, but the subsequent run-off elections in early 2007 again yielded a PDG-controlled National Assembly.[5] HP COMPAQ NX6325 Laptop Keyboard

On June 8, 2009, President Omar Bongo died of cardiac arrest at a Spanish hospital in Barcelona, ushering in a new era in Gabonese politics. In accordance with the amended constitution, Rose Francine Rogombé, the President of the Senate, became Interim President on June 10, 2009. The first contested elections in Gabon's history that did not include Omar Bongo as a candidate were held on August 30, 2009 with 18 candidates for president.  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X301 2779 Laptop Keyboard

The lead-up to the elections saw some isolated protests, but no significant disturbances. Omar Bongo's son, ruling party leader Ali Bongo Ondimba, was formally declared the winner after a 3-week review by the Constitutional Court; his inauguration took place on October 16, 2009.[5]

The court's review had been prompted by claims of fraud by the many opposition candidates, SONY N860-7676-T101 Laptop Keyboard

with the initial announcement of election results sparking unprecedented violent protests in Port-Gentil, the country's second-largest city and a long-time bastion of opposition to PDG rule. The citizens of Port-Gentil took to the streets, and numerous shops and residences were burned, including the French Consulate and a local prison.  TOSHIBA Tecra M10-S3454 Laptop Keyboard

Officially, only four deaths occurred during the riots, but opposition and local leaders claim many more. Gendarmes and the military were deployed to Port-Gentil to support the beleaguered police, and a curfew was in effect for more than 3 months.[5] HP Pavilion dv3-2320es laptop keyboard

A partial legislative by-election was held in June 2010. A newly created coalition of parties, the Union Nationale (UN), participated for the first time. The UN is composed largely of PDG defectors who left the party after Omar Bongo's death. Of the five hotly contested seats, the PDG won three and the UN won two; both sides claimed victory.[5] SONY VAIO VGN-NR21E/S laptop keyboard

Gabon is a republic with a presidential form of government under the 1961 constitution (revised in 1975, rewritten in 1991, and revised in 2003). The president is elected by universal suffrage for a seven-year term; a 2003 constitutional amendment removed presidential term limits and facilitated a presidency for life. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W laptop keyboard

The president can appoint and dismiss the prime minister, the cabinet, and judges of the independent Supreme Court. The president also has other strong powers, such as authority to dissolve the National Assembly, declare a state of siege, delay legislation, and conduct referenda.[5] SONY VAIO VGN-FS215Z laptop keyboard

The country has a bicameral legislature with a National Assembly and Senate. The National Assembly has 120 deputies who are popularly elected for a 5-year term. The Senate is composed of 102 members who are elected by municipal councils and regional assemblies and serve for 6 years. The Senate was created in the 1990–1991 constitutional re-write, ACER PK1301K0200 laptop keyboard

although it was not brought into being until after the 1997 local elections. The President of the Senate is next in succession to the President.[5]

In 1990, the government made major changes to Gabon's political system. A transitional constitution was drafted in May 1990 as an outgrowth of the national political conference in March–April and later revised by a constitutional committee. TOSHIBA Tecra M10-S3454 laptop keyboard

Among its provisions were a Western-style bill of rights, creation of a National Council of Democracy to oversee the guarantee of those rights, a governmental advisory board on economic and social issues, and an independent judiciary. After approval by the National Assembly, the PDG Central Committee, and the President, the Assembly unanimously adopted the constitution in March 1991. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Multiparty legislative elections were held in 1990–91, despite the fact that opposition parties had not been declared formally legal. In spite of this, the elections produced the first representative, multiparty National Assembly. In January 1991, the Assembly passed by unanimous vote a law governing the legalization of opposition parties.[5] DELL NSK-DB301 laptop keyboard

After President Omar Bongo was re-elected in 1993, in a disputed election where only 51% of votes were cast, social and political disturbances led to the 1994 Paris Conference and Accords. These provided a framework for the next elections. SONY KFRMBA221A laptop keyboard

Local and legislative elections were delayed until 1996–97. In 1997, constitutional amendments put forward years earlier were adopted to create the Senate and the position of vice president, as well as to extend the president's term to seven years.[5] GATEWAY V030946FS1 US laptop keyboard

In October 2009, newly elected President Ali Bongo Ondimba began efforts to streamline the government. In an effort to reduce corruption and government bloat, he eliminated 17 minister-level positions, abolished the vice presidency and reorganized the portfolios of numerous ministries, bureaus and directorates. HP Pavilion DV7-3183cl laptop keyboard

In November 2009, President Bongo Ondimba announced a new vision for the modernization of Gabon, called "Gabon Emergent". This program contains three pillars: Green Gabon, Service Gabon, and Industrial Gabon. The goals of Gabon Emergent are to diversify the economy so that Gabon becomes less reliant on petroleum, SONY VAIO VGN-AR320E laptop ke

yboard

to eliminate corruption, and to modernize the workforce. Under this program, exports of raw timber have been banned, a government-wide census was held, the work day has been changed to eliminate a long midday break, and a national oil company was created.[5] SONY VAIO VGN-FS515B laptop keyboard

For administrative purposes, Gabon is divided into nine provinces, which are further divided into 36 prefectures and eight separate subprefectures. The president appoints the provincial governors, the prefects, and the subprefects.[5]

In provisional results,[when?] the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) won 84 out of 120 parliamentary seats.  SONY KFRMBA220A laptop keyboard

Gabon has a small, professional military of about 5,000 personnel, divided into army, navy, air force, gendarmerie, and national police. Gabonese forces are oriented to the defense of the country and have not been trained for an offensive role. A 1,800-member guard provides security for the president.[5]  ASUS F83 laptop keyboard

Since independence, Gabon has followed a nonaligned policy, advocating dialogue in international affairs and recognizing each side of divided countries. In inter-African affairs, Gabon espouses development by evolution rather than revolution and favors regulated free enterprise as the system most likely to promote rapid economic growth. HP Pavilion G6-1227TU laptop keyboard

Gabon played an important leadership role in the stability of Central Africa through involvement in mediation efforts in Chad, theCentral African Republic, Angola, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), and Burundi.

In December 1999, through the mediation efforts of President Bongo, a peace accord was signed in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) between the government and most leaders of an armed rebellion. President Bongo was also involved in the continuing D.R.C. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

peace process, and played a role in mediating the crisis inCôte d'Ivoire. Gabonese armed forces were also an integral part of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) mission to the Central African Republic. HP 535689-001 Laptop Keyboard

Gabon is a member of the United Nations (UN) and some of its specialized and related agencies, as well as of the World Bank; the IMF; the African Union (AU); the Central African Customs Union/Central African Economic and Monetary Community (UDEAC/CEMAC); EU/ACP association under the Lome Convention;  LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

the Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA); the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC); the Nonaligned Movement; and the Economic Community of Central African States(ECCAS/CEEAC), among others. SONY VAIO VGN-N11M/W laptop keyboard

In 1995, Gabon withdrew from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Gabon was elected to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for January 2010 through December 2011 and held the rotating presidency in March 2010.[5] HP Pavilion dv4-1050ee laptop keyboard

On January 25, 2011, opposition leader André Mba Obame claimed the presidency, saying the country should be run by someone the people really wanted. He also selected 19 ministers for his government, and the entire group, HP G42-475TU laptop keyboard

along with hundreds of others, spent the night at UN headquarters. On January 26, the government dissolved Mba Obame's party. AU chairman Jean Ping said that Mba Obame's action "hurts the integrity of legitimate institutions and also endangers the peace,  HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

the security and the stability of Gabon."[6] Interior Minister Jean-François Ndongou accused Mba Obame and his supporters of treason.[6] The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said that he recognized Ondimba as the only official Gabonese president.[citation needed] SONY 013-000A-8715-C laptop keyboard

Gabon is located on the Atlantic coast of central Africa. Located on the equator, between latitudes 3°N and 4°S, and longitudes 8° and 15°E. Gabon generally has an equatorial climate with an extensive system of rainforests covering 85% of the country. There are three distinct regions: the coastal plains (ranging between 20 to 300 km from the ocean's shore), the mountains (the Cristal Mountains to the northeast of Libreville, SONY VAIO VGN-CS13S/W laptop keyboard

the Chaillu Massif in the centre, culminating at 1575 m with Mont Iboundji), and the savanna in the east. The coastal plains form a large section of the World Wildlife Fund's Atlantic Equatorial coastal forests ecoregion and contain patches of Central African mangroves especially on the Muni River estuary on the border with Equatorial Guinea. SONY KFRMBA220A laptop keyboard

Gabon's largest river is the Ogooué which is 1200 km long. Gabon has three karst areas where there are hundreds of caves located in the dolomite and limestone rocks. Some of the caves include Grotte du Lastoursville, Grotte du Lebamba, Grotte du Bongolo, and Grotte du Kessipougou. Many caves have not been explored yet. A National Geographic Expedition visited the caves in the summer of 2008 to document them (Expedition Website). TOSHIBA Satellite l20-181 laptop keyboard

Gabon is also noted for efforts to preserve the natural environment. In 2002, President Omar Bongo Ondimba put Gabon firmly on the map as an important future ecotourism destination by designating roughly 10% of the nation's territory to be part of its national park system (with 13 parks in total), one of the largest proportions of nature parkland in the world. Natural resources include: petroleum, magnesium, iron, gold, uranium, and forests. SONY VAIO VGN-NW25GF laptop keyboard

Gabon's economy is dominated by oil. Oil revenues comprise roughly 46% of the government's budget, 43% of gross domestic product (GDP), and 81% of exports. Oil production is now declining rapidly from its high point of 370,000 barrels per day in 1997. Some estimates suggest that Gabonese oil will be expended by 2025. In spite of the decreasing oil revenues, planning is only now beginning for an after-oil scenario.[5] SONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W laptop keyboard

Gabonese public expenditures from the years of significant oil revenues were not spent efficiently. Overspending on the Transgabonais railroad, the oil price shock of 1986, the CFA franc devaluation of 1994, and low oil prices in the late 1990s caused serious debt problems that still plague the country.[5] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Gabon earned a poor reputation with the Paris Club and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the management of its debt and revenues. Successive IMF missions have criticized the government for overspending on off-budget items (in good years and bad), over-borrowing from the Central Bank, and slipping on the schedule for privatization and administrative reform. However, in September 2005, SONY VAIO VGN-NW240F laptop keyboard

Gabon successfully concluded a 15-month Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF. Another 3-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF was approved in May 2007. Because of the financial crisis and social developments surrounding the death of President Omar Bongo and the elections, Gabon was unable to meet its economic goals under the Stand-By Arrangement in 2009. Negotiations with the IMF are ongoing.[5] ASUS X71 laptop keyboard

Gabon's oil revenues have given it a strong per capita GDP of $8,600, extremely high for the region. However the income distribution is skewed and social indicators show poor values. The richest 20% of the population receive over 90% of the income while about a third of the Gabonese population lives in poverty.[5]  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The economy is highly dependent on extraction of abundant primary materials. Prior to the discovery of oil, logging was the pillar of the Gabonese economy. Today, logging and manganese mining are the other major income generators. SONY 147977821 Laptop Keyboard

Recent explorations point to the presence of the world's largest unexploited iron ore deposit. For many living in the countryside without access to employment in extractive industries, remittances from family members in urban areas or subsistence activities provide income.[5]

Many foreign and local observers have consistently lamented the lack of diversity in the Gabonese economy. HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

Various factors have so far stymied additional industries—a small market of about 1 million people, dependence on French imports, inability to capitalize on regional markets, lack of entrepreneurial zeal among the Gabonese, Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

and the fairly regular stream of oil "rent". Further investment in agricultural ortourism sectors is complicated by poor infrastructure. The small processing and service sectors that do exist are largely dominated by a few prominent local investors.[5] DELL Studio 1458 Laptop Keyboard

At World Bank and IMF insistence, the government embarked in the 1990s on a program of privatization of its state-owned companies and administrative reform, including reducing public sector employment and salary growth, but progress has been slow. The new government has voiced a commitment to work toward an economic transformation of the country but faces significant challenges to realize this goal.[5] HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Gabon has a population that is estimated at 1,545,255.[5] Historical and environmental factors caused Gabon's population to decline between 1900 and 1940.[citation needed] It has one of the lowest population densities of any country in Africa,[5] and the highest Human Development Index in Sub-Saharan Africa.[4]  Compaq 6720s Laptop Keyboard

Almost all Gabonese are of Bantu origin, though Gabon has at least forty ethnic groups with diverse languages and cultures.[5] The Fang are generally thought to be the largest,[5] although recent census data seem to favor the Nzebi.[ ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

citation needed] Others include the Myene, Kota, Shira, Puru, and Kande.[5] Ethnic boundaries are less sharply drawn in Gabon than elsewhere in Africa. There are also various Pygmy peoples: the Bongo, Kota, and Baka; the latter speak the only non-Bantu language in Gabon.

DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

Intermarriage between the ethnicities is quite common, helping reduce ethnic tensions. French, the language of its former colonial ruler, is a unifying force. The Democratic Party of Gabon (PDG)'s historical dominance also has served to unite various ethnicities and local interests into a larger whole. More than 10,000 native French live in Gabon, SONY Vaio PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

including an estimated 2,000 dual nationals.[5] It is estimated that 80% of the country's population can speak French, and that 30% of Libreville residents are native speakers of the language. Nationally, 32% of the Gabonese people speak the Fang language as a mother tongue.[7]  HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

In October 2012, just before the 14th summit of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the country declared an intention to add English as a second official language, reportedly in response to an investigation by France into corruption in the African country,[8] though a government spokesman insisted it was for practical reasons only.[9] HP Pavilion G7-1167DX Laptop Keyboard

Major religions practiced in Gabon include Christianity (Roman Catholicism and Protestantism), Bwiti, Islam, and indigenous animistic religion.[10] Many persons practice elements of both Christianity and traditional indigenous religious beliefs.[10] Approximately 73 percent of the population, including noncitizens, practice at least some elements of Christianity, including the syncretistic Bwiti; IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X301 2779 Laptop Keyboard

12 percent practice Islam (of whom 80 to 90 percent are foreigners); 10 percent practice traditional indigenous religious beliefs exclusively; and 5 percent practice no religion or are atheists.[10] Gabon's literacy rate is 88.4%.[11] HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

Gabonese music is lesser-known in comparison with regional giants like the Democratic Republic of the Congo andCameroon. The country boasts an array of folk styles, as well as pop stars like Patience Dabany and Annie Flore Batchiellilys, TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2812 Laptop Keyboard

a Gabonese singer and renowned live performer. Also known are guitarists like Georges Oyendze, La Rose Mbadou and Sylvain Avara, and the singer Oliver N'Goma. Imported rock and hip hop from the US and UK are popular in Gabon, as are rumba, makossa and soukous. Gabonese folk instruments include the obala, the ngombi, balafon and traditional drums. HP G61-110SA laptop keyboard

A country with a primarily oral tradition up until the spread of literacy in the 21st century, Gabon is rich in folkloreand mythology. "Raconteurs" are currently working to keep traditions alive such as the mvett among the Fangs and theingwala among the Nzebis. SONY VAIO VGN-FS740W laptop keyboard

Gabon also features internationally celebrated masks, such as the n'goltang (Fang) and the relicary figures of the Kota. Each group has its own set of masks used for various reasons. They are mostly used in traditional ceremonies such as marriage, birth and funerals. Traditionalists mainly work with rare local woods and other precious materials.  ASUS X88S laptop keyboard

Radio-Diffusion Télévision Gabonaise (RTG), which is owned and operated by the government, broadcasts in French and indigenous languages. Color television broadcasts have been introduced in major cities. In 1981, a commercial radio station, Africa No. 1, began operations. The most powerful radio station on the continent, it has participation from the French and Gabonese governments and private European media. HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

In 2004, the government operated two radio stations and another seven were privately owned. There were also two government television stations and four privately owned. In 2003, there were an estimated 488 radios and 308 television sets for every 1,000 people. About 11.5 of every 1,000 people were cable subscribers. Also in 2003, ASUS A9R laptop keyboard

there were 22.4 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 26 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet. The national press service is the Gabonese Press Agency, which publishes a daily paper, Gabon-Matin (circulation 18,000 as of 2002). APPLE 922-6913 laptop keyboard

L'Union in Libreville, the government-controlled daily newspaper, had an average daily circulation of 40,000 in 2002. The weekly Gabon d'Aujourdhui, is published by the Ministry of Communications. There are about nine privately owned periodicals which are either independent or affiliated with political parties. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E220s laptop keyboard

These publish in small numbers and are often delayed by financial constraints. The constitution of Gabon provides for free speech and a free press, and the government supports these rights. Several periodicals actively criticize the government and foreign publications are widely available.

Most of the health services of Gabon are public,  IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 laptop keyboard

but there are some private institutions, of which the best known is the hospital established in 1913 inLambaréné by Albert Schweitzer. Gabon's medical infrastructure is considered one of the best in West Africa. By 1985 there were 28 hospitals, 87 medical centers, and 312 infirmaries and dispensaries. As of 2004, there were an estimated 29 physicians per 100,000 people. Approximately 90% of the population had access to health care services. SONY VAIO PCG-FR315B laptop keyboard

In 2000, 70% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 21% had adequate sanitation. A comprehensive government health program treats such diseases as leprosy, sleeping sickness, malaria, filariasis, intestinal worms, and tuberculosis. Rates for immunization of children under the age of one were 97% for tuberculosis and 65% for polio. Immunization rates for DPT and measles were 37% and 56% respectively. Gabon has a domestic supply of pharmaceuticals from a large, modern factory in Libreville. ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

The total fertility rate has decreased from 5.8 in 1960 to 4.2 children per mother during childbearing years in 2000. Ten percent of all births were low birth weight. The maternal mortality rate was 520 per 100,000 live births as of 1998. In 2005, the infant mortality rate was 55.35 per 1,000 live births and life expectancy was 55.02 years. As of 2002, the overall mortality rate was estimated at 17.6 per 1,000 inhabitants. ACER TravelMate 3020 laptop keyboard

The HIV/AIDS prevalence is estimated to be 5.2% of the adult population (ages 15–49).[12] As of 2009, approximately 46,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS.[13]There were an estimated 2,400 deaths from AIDS in 2009 – down from 3,000 deaths in 2003.[14]  TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

Gabon's education system is regulated by two ministries: The Ministry of Education, in charge of pre-kindergarten through the last High School Grade, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Innovative Technologies, in charge of Universities and Higher Education and Professional Schools.

Education is compulsory for children ages 6 to 16 under the Education Act. Most children in Gabon start their school lives by attending Nurseries or "Crèche", SONY VGN-FE21B laptop keyboard

then Kindergarten known as "Jardins d'Enfants". At age 6, they are enrolled in Primary School, "École Primaire" which is made up of six grades. The next level is "École Secondaire", which is made up of seven grades. The planned graduation age is 19 years old. Those who graduate can apply for admission at institutions of Higher learning, including engineering schools or business schools. HP Pavilion dv6-2165es laptop keyboard

The government has used oil revenue for school construction, paying teachers' salaries, and promoting education, including in rural areas. However, maintenance of school structures, as well as teachers' salaries, has been declining. In 2002 the gross primary enrollment rate was 132 percent, and in 2000 the net primary enrollment rate was 78 percent. SONY VAIO VGN-FS285H laptop keyboard

Gross and net enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. As of 2001, 69 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5. Problems in the education system include poor management and planning, lack of oversight, poorly qualified teachers, and overcrowded classrooms.[15] Packard Bell Easynote TM99 laptop keyboard

TOSHIBA Satellite L355-S7812 laptop keyboard

SAMSUNG P28 laptop keyboard

Partager cet article

Repost 0
Published by batterys
commenter cet article

commentaires