17 August: Gabon’s Independence Day

17 08 2021

Gabon became a French colony in 1885 when Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza explored the area where Bantu groups had been living. He founded Franceville in 1880 and it was later merged into French Congo. In 1910, France combined French Gabon, French Congo, Ubangi-Shari, and French Chad into the Federation of French Equatorial Africa, which was a French colonial federation in Equatorial Africa.

Throughout the French rule in the beginning of the 20th century, there was constant local resistance against the French, sparked by their monopoly on the region’s exportations. During World War I and II, educated locals established an anti-colonial movement. In 1922, Gabon already has a local parliament and its first political party, Jeunesse Gabonaise, as well as a representative in the French parliament. 

After World War II ended, French colonies established the French Union with Gabon as one of its member states.

The Union was later disbanded after the war in Algeria in 1958, and was replaced by the French Community, of which Gabon remained a member until 1960, when negotiations with France were held and Gabon gained its independence on 17 August.


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David E. Gardinier. (n.d.). Gabon. Retrieved from