Independence Day around the world in 2024

Independence Day around the world in 2024
  How long until Independence Day?
Independence Day
  Dates of Independence Day around the world
2025 GabonAug 15, Aug 17
Gabon Sun, Aug 17National Holiday
Gabon Fri, Aug 15National Holiday (additional day)
2024 GabonAug 15, Aug 17
Gabon Sat, Aug 17National Holiday
Gabon Thu, Aug 15National Holiday (additional day)
2023 GabonAug 16, Aug 17
Gabon Thu, Aug 17National Holiday
Gabon Wed, Aug 16National Holiday (additional day)
2022 GabonAug 16, Aug 17
Gabon Wed, Aug 17National Holiday
Gabon Tue, Aug 16National Holiday (additional day)
2021 GabonAug 16, Aug 17
Gabon Tue, Aug 17National Holiday
Gabon Mon, Aug 16National Holiday (additional day)

Marks Gabon's independence from France on August 17th 1960

When is Gabonese Independence Day?

Independence Day is a public holiday in Gabon on 16th and 17th August. These public holidays follow Assumption on August 15th to create a three-day break.

This is Gabon's National Day and marks independence from France on August 17th 1960.

The Commonwealth Chambers of Commerce mentions: “This holiday is widely celebrated throughout the country and festivities usually last for two days. Celebrations comprise official speeches, parades, drum shows, traditional dance and fireworks at La Place de Fetes. Friends and family gather together to enjoy traditional food such as nyembwe, fufu and Atanga with bread.”

Gabon Independence Day is a day of great significance for the Gabonese people. It is a day to celebrate their freedom and unity and to reflect on the country's past and look forward to its future. 

History of Gabonese Independence Day

The first Europeans to visit Gabon were the Portuguese in the late fifteenth century when Diego Cam explored the region. They gave Gabon its name when they named the mouth of the Como River as gabão, Portuguese for "cloak", after the shape of the estuary.

The French arrived in the region in the early nineteenth attracted by the slave trade. In 1839, local rulers in the coastal region signed away sovereignty to the French. The French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza led his first mission to the Gabon-Congo area in 1875 increasing French control and founded the town of Franceville in 1880. France officially occupied Gabon in 1885 and in 1910, Gabon became one of the four colonies of French Equatorial Africa.

During the Fourth French Republic (1946–58), Gabon became an overseas territory with its own assembly and representation in the French Parliament. In 1958 Gabon voted to become an autonomous republic within the French Community.

On August 17th 1960, Gabon gained its independence and became an independent republic joining the other three territories of the French Equatorial Union who also gained their independence in the same month.

The first president of Gabon, elected in 1961, was Léon M'ba.

After the nation gained independence, France established a new dynamic with Gabon partly motivated by the West African nation's uranium wealth which was key to France's nuclear programme.

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