A growing mobile cellular network with multiple providers is making telephone service more widely available with mobile cellular teledensity approaching 150 per 100 persons. 3G/4G licences were introduced in 2014. The Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) is the agency responsible for the regulation of the telecoms market in Gabon.
From 2010 to 2016, oil accounted for approximately 80% of Gabon’s exports, 45% of its GDP, and 60% of its state budget revenues. A rebound of oil prices from 2001 to 2013 helped growth, but declining production, as some fields passed their peak production, has hampered Gabon from fully realizing potential gains. GDP grew nearly 6% per year over the 2010-14 period, but slowed significantly in 2015 as oil prices declined. Low oil prices also weakened government revenue and negatively affected the trade and current account balances.
Despite an abundance of natural wealth, poor fiscal management and over-reliance on oil has stifled the economy. Power cuts and water shortages are frequent. Significant cuts in budget expenditures – Gabon’s budget has contracted for four years in a row – have not extended to the government’s priority projects.