The former French colony, the capital city of Gabon that is a country on the coast of Central Africa, Libreville is a "port" city near the Gulf of Guinea. Historically a center for the region's timber trade, the city grew slowly from being a trading post to a minor administrative center with a population of 32,000 upon independence in 1960. Today the city has about 703,904 residents, nearly half of the country's population meandering around its seafront boulevard cloaked in sculptures and luscious parks, checking out the National Museum of Arts and Tradition or running to a coworking venue to meet up with likeminded souls. The shopaholic can get excited and do a little happy dance at the sight of the Mont-Bouët open-air market selling everything you could possibly imagine from traditional medicine to household stuff.
One of a few African cities where French is becoming the native language (with a few local accents), Libreville's economy is based in the shipbuilding industry, the brewing industry and sawmills. It exports raw materials such as rubber, cocoa and wood and has numerous education institutions such as the Omar Bongo University within its midst. The city perches beside the Komo estuary where you will find the Pongara National Park and the Akanda National Park that is famous for its huge flocks of migrating waterbirds.
Gabon embraced 4G connectivity by investing in optical fibreoptics throughout the country and this has given rise to a surge in startups in the mobile money space. Numerous state and private-backed incubators have appeared in the city and its tech savvy youth are pursuing their own opportunities despite some political and economic hurdles. Entrepreneurship is not really in their culture and to attract innovative souls the government has introduced a program of regulatory reform, tax cuts and other incentives for budding entrepreneurs to take advantage of. Coworking venues are beginning to brim over with buzzing brains and intrepid souls chasing their own dreams of success in a land that is rich in opportunity.
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