The Ogooué, some 1,200 kilometres long, is the principal river of Gabon in west central Africa and the fourth largest river in Africa by volume of discharge, trailing only the Congo and Zambezi. Its watershed drains nearly the entire country of Gabon, with some tributaries reaching into the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea; the Ogooué River rises in the northwest of the Bateke Plateaux near Republic of Congo. It runs northwest, enters Gabon near Boumango. Poubara Falls are near Maulongo. From Lastoursville until Ndjole, the Ogooué is non-navigable due to rapids. From the latter city, it runs west, enters the Gulf of Guinea near Ozouri, south of Port Gentil; the Ogowe Delta is about 100 km long and 100 km wide. The Ogooué Basin is 223,856 square kilometres, of which 173,000 square kilometres or 73 percent lies within Gabon, it consists of undisturbed rainforest with some savanna grassland where the mid-year dry season is longest. It is home to a high biodiversity. All three species of African crocodile, for instance, occur in the river: the Nile crocodile, the dwarf crocodile, the slender-snouted crocodile.
It is the type locality for the catfish Synodontis acanthoperca. The Mpassa River is a tributary of the Ogooué River; the Ndjoumou River is the main tributary of Mpassa River. The Ogooué is navigable from Ndjole to the sea, it is used to bring wood to the Port Gentil Harbour. The Ogowe Basin includes several major conservation reverves, notably Lope National Park; the catchment area has an average population density of 4 people per km². Towns along the river include Ayem, Adané, Lambaréné, Booué, Maulongo, Mboungou-Mbadouma, Lastoursville and Franceville near the Congo border. Towns in Congo include Zanaga; the first European explorer to trace the river to its source was Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, who traveled in the area in the 1870s. In 1896, Mary Kingsley traveled along the Ogooué by canoe to collect its specimens of unknown fish; the Ogowe River receives water of numerous tributaries including: Abanga, which rises in the Cristal Mountains, near Medouneu Baniaka Dilo Iyinda, the most important tributary Letili Lassio Lebombi Lekabi Lekedi Lekoni, which flows across Akieni and Leconi Letili Leyou Lolo Mbine Ngolo Ngounie Nke Offoue Okano, whose main tributary is the Lara River Mpassa, which flows across Franceville Sebe, which flows past Okondja Wagny Perusset André.
1983. Oro-Hydrographie in Geographie et Cartographie du Gabon, Atlas Illustré led by The Ministère de l'Education Nationale de la Republique Gabonaise. Pg 10-13. Paris, France: Edicef. Petringa, Maria. Brazza, A Life for Africa. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006. ISBN 9781-4259-11980. Describes Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza's extensive explorations of the Ogoué River basin. National Geographic. 2003. African Adventure Atlas Pg 24,72. Led by Sean Fraser. Gardinier David. 1994. Historical Dictionary of Gabon 2nd Edition. USA: The Scarercrow Press, Inc. Direction General de L'Environnement.1999. Stratégie nationale et Plan D'action sur la biodiversité biologique du Gabon; the Atlas of Africa. Pg 201. By Regine Van Chi-Bonnardel. Jeune Afrique Editions. Lerique Jacques. 1983. Hydrographie-Hydrologie. in Geographie et Cartographie du Gabon, Atlas Illustré led by The Ministère de l'Education Nationale de la Republique Gabonaise. Pg 14-15. Paris, France: Edicef. World Resources Institute map of Ogooué watershed Map of the Ogoué River basin at Water Resources eAtlas Maria Petringa's 1997 "Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza: Brief Life of a Lover of Africa" about Brazza's extensive explorations of the Ogoué River basin Website about the dinosaur hunt
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. It is bordered by five countries: Gabon to its west; the region was dominated by Bantu-speaking tribes at least 3,000 years ago, who built trade links leading into the Congo River basin. Congo was part of the French colony of Equatorial Africa; the Republic of the Congo was established on the 28th of November 1958 but gained independence from France in 1960. The sovereign state has had multi-party elections since 1992, although a democratically elected government was ousted in the 1997 Republic of the Congo Civil War, President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who first came to power in 1979, has ruled for 33 of the past 38 years; the Republic of the Congo has become the fourth-largest oil producer in the Gulf of Guinea, providing the country with a degree of prosperity despite political and economic instability in some areas and unequal distribution of oil revenue nationwide.
Congo's economy is dependent on the oil sector, economic growth has slowed since the post-2015 drop in oil prices. Bantu-speaking peoples who founded tribes during the Bantu expansions displaced and absorbed the earliest inhabitants of the region, the Pygmy people, about 1500 BC; the Bakongo, a Bantu ethnic group that occupied parts of present-day Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formed the basis for ethnic affinities and rivalries among those countries. Several Bantu kingdoms—notably those of the Kongo, the Loango, the Teke—built trade links leading into the Congo River basin; the Portuguese explorer Diogo Cão reached the mouth of the Congo in 1484. Commercial relationships grew between the inland Bantu kingdoms and European merchants who traded various commodities, manufactured goods, people captured from the hinterlands. After centuries as a major hub for transatlantic trade, direct European colonization of the Congo river delta began in the late 19th century, subsequently eroding the power of the Bantu societies in the region.
The area north of the Congo River came under French sovereignty in 1880 as a result of Pierre de Brazza's treaty with King Makoko of the Bateke. This Congo Colony became known first as French Congo as Middle Congo in 1903. In 1908, France organized French Equatorial Africa, comprising Middle Congo, Gabon and Oubangui-Chari; the French designated Brazzaville as the federal capital. Economic development during the first 50 years of colonial rule in Congo centered on natural-resource extraction; the methods were brutal: construction of the Congo–Ocean Railroad following World War I has been estimated to have cost at least 14,000 lives. During the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, Brazzaville functioned as the symbolic capital of Free France between 1940 and 1943; the Brazzaville Conference of 1944 heralded a period of major reform in French colonial policy. Congo benefited from the postwar expansion of colonial administrative and infrastructure spending as a result of its central geographic location within AEF and the federal capital at Brazzaville.
It received a local legislature after the adoption of the 1946 constitution that established the Fourth Republic. Following the revision of the French constitution that established the Fifth Republic in 1958, the AEF dissolved into its constituent parts, each of which became an autonomous colony within the French Community. During these reforms, Middle Congo became known as the Republic of the Congo in 1958 and published its first constitution in 1959. Antagonism between the Mbochis and the Laris and Kongos resulted in a series of riots in Brazzaville in February 1959, which the French Army subdued. New elections took place in April 1959. By the time the Congo became independent in August 1960, the former opponent of Youlou, agreed to serve under him. Youlou became the first President of the Republic of the Congo. Since the political tension was so high in Pointe-Noire, Youlou moved the capital to Brazzaville; the Republic of the Congo received full independence from France on 15 August 1960. Youlou ruled as the country's first president until labour elements and rival political parties instigated a three-day uprising that ousted him.
The Congolese military took charge of the country, installed a civilian provisional government headed by Alphonse Massamba-Débat. Under the 1963 constitution, Massamba-Débat was elected President for a five-year term. During Massamba-Débat's term in office the regime adopted "scientific socialism" as the country's constitutional ideology. In 1965, Congo established relations with the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, North Korea and North Vietnam. Massamba-Débat's regime invited several hundred Cuban army troops into the country to train his party's militia units and these troops helped his government survive a coup d'état in 1966 led by paratroopers loyal to future President Marien Ngouabi. Massamba-Débat was unable to reconcile various institutional and ideological factions within the country and his regime ended abruptly with a bloodless coup in September 1968. Ngouabi, who had participated in the coup, assumed the presidency on 31 December 1968. One year President Ngouabi proclaimed Congo Africa's first "people's republic"
Natural gas is a occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane, but including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years; the energy that the plants obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas. Natural gas is a occurring hydrocarbon used as a source of energy for heating and electricity generation, it is used as a fuel for vehicles and as a chemical feedstock in the manufacture of plastics and other commercially important organic chemicals. Natural gas is called a non-renewable resource. Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or associated with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds and as methane clathrates. Petroleum is another fossil fuel found in close proximity to and with natural gas. Most natural gas was created over time by two mechanisms: thermogenic.
Biogenic gas is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs and shallow sediments. Deeper in the earth, at greater temperature and pressure, thermogenic gas is created from buried organic material. In petroleum production gas is burnt as flare gas; the World Bank estimates that over 150 cubic kilometers of natural gas are flared or vented annually. Before natural gas can be used as a fuel, but not all, must be processed to remove impurities, including water, to meet the specifications of marketable natural gas; the by-products of this processing include: ethane, butanes and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, water vapor, sometimes helium and nitrogen. Natural gas is informally referred to as "gas" when compared to other energy sources such as oil or coal. However, it is not to be confused with gasoline in North America, where the term gasoline is shortened in colloquial usage to gas. Natural gas was discovered accidentally in ancient China, as it resulted from the drilling for brines.
Natural gas was first used by the Chinese in about 500 BCE. They discovered a way to transport gas seeping from the ground in crude pipelines of bamboo to where it was used to boil salt water to extract the salt, in the Ziliujing District of Sichuan; the discovery and identification of natural gas in the Americas happened in 1626. In 1821, William Hart dug the first natural gas well at Fredonia, New York, United States, which led to the formation of the Fredonia Gas Light Company; the state of Philadelphia created the first municipally owned natural gas distribution venture in 1836. By 2009, 66 000 km³ had been used out of the total 850 000 km³ of estimated remaining recoverable reserves of natural gas. Based on an estimated 2015 world consumption rate of about 3400 km³ of gas per year, the total estimated remaining economically recoverable reserves of natural gas would last 250 years at current consumption rates. An annual increase in usage of 2–3% could result in recoverable reserves lasting less as few as 80 to 100 years.
In the 19th century, natural gas was obtained as a by-product of producing oil, since the small, light gas carbon chains came out of solution as the extracted fluids underwent pressure reduction from the reservoir to the surface, similar to uncapping a soft drink bottle where the carbon dioxide effervesces. Unwanted natural gas was a disposal problem in the active oil fields. If there was not a market for natural gas near the wellhead it was prohibitively expensive to pipe to the end user. In the 19th century and early 20th century, unwanted gas was burned off at oil fields. Today, unwanted gas associated with oil extraction is returned to the reservoir with'injection' wells while awaiting a possible future market or to repressurize the formation, which can enhance extraction rates from other wells. In regions with a high natural gas demand, pipelines are constructed when it is economically feasible to transport gas from a wellsite to an end consumer. In addition to transporting gas via pipelines for use in power generation, other end uses for natural gas include export as liquefied natural gas or conversion of natural gas into other liquid products via gas to liquids technologies.
GTL technologies can convert natural gas into liquids products such as diesel or jet fuel. A variety of GTL technologies have been developed, including Fischer–Tropsch, methanol to gasoline and syngas to gasoline plus. F–T produces a synthetic crude that can be further refined into finished products, while MTG can produce synthetic gasoline from natural gas. STG+ can produce drop-in gasoline, jet fuel and aromatic chemicals directly from natural gas via a single-loop process. In 2011, Royal Dutch Shell's 140,000 barrels per day F–T plant went into operation in Qatar. Natural gas can be "associated", or "non-associated", is found in coal beds, it sometimes contains a significant amount of ethane, propane and pentane—heavier hydrocarbons removed for commercial use prior to the methane being sold as a consumer fuel or chemical plant feedstock. Non-hydrocarbons such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide must be removed before the natural gas can be transported. Natural gas extracted from oil wells is called casinghead gas (whether or not produced up the a
Diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure called diamond cubic. At room temperature and pressure, another solid form of carbon known as graphite is the chemically stable form, but diamond never converts to it. Diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, properties that are utilized in major industrial applications such as cutting and polishing tools, they are the reason that diamond anvil cells can subject materials to pressures found deep in the Earth. Because the arrangement of atoms in diamond is rigid, few types of impurity can contaminate it. Small numbers of defects or impurities color diamond blue, brown, purple, orange or red. Diamond has high optical dispersion. Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometers in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometers. Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved minerals and replaced them with diamonds.
Much more they were carried to the surface in volcanic eruptions and deposited in igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites. Synthetic diamonds can be grown from high-purity carbon under high pressures and temperatures or from hydrocarbon gas by chemical vapor deposition. Imitation diamonds can be made out of materials such as cubic zirconia and silicon carbide. Natural and imitation diamonds are most distinguished using optical techniques or thermal conductivity measurements. Diamond is a solid form of pure carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal. Solid carbon comes in different forms known as allotropes depending on the type of chemical bond; the two most common allotropes of pure carbon are graphite. In graphite the bonds are sp2 orbital hybrids and the atoms form in planes with each bound to three nearest neighbors 120 degrees apart. In diamond they are sp3 and the atoms form tetrahedra with each bound to four nearest neighbors. Tetrahedra are rigid, the bonds are strong, of all known substances diamond has the greatest number of atoms per unit volume, why it is both the hardest and the least compressible.
It has a high density, ranging from 3150 to 3530 kilograms per cubic metre in natural diamonds and 3520 kg/m³ in pure diamond. In graphite, the bonds between nearest neighbors are stronger but the bonds between planes are weak, so the planes can slip past each other. Thus, graphite is much softer than diamond. However, the stronger bonds make graphite less flammable. Diamonds have been adapted for many uses because of the material's exceptional physical characteristics. Most notable are its extreme hardness and thermal conductivity, as well as wide bandgap and high optical dispersion. Diamond's ignition point is 720 -- 800 °C in 850 -- 1000 °C in air; the equilibrium pressure and temperature conditions for a transition between graphite and diamond is well established theoretically and experimentally. The pressure changes linearly between 1.7 GPa at 0 K and 12 GPa at 5000 K. However, the phases have a wide region about this line where they can coexist. At normal temperature and pressure, 20 °C and 1 standard atmosphere, the stable phase of carbon is graphite, but diamond is metastable and its rate of conversion to graphite is negligible.
However, at temperatures above about 4500 K, diamond converts to graphite. Rapid conversion of graphite to diamond requires pressures well above the equilibrium line: at 2000 K, a pressure of 35 GPa is needed. Above the triple point, the melting point of diamond increases with increasing pressure. At high pressures and germanium have a BC8 body-centered cubic crystal structure, a similar structure is predicted for carbon at high pressures. At 0 K, the transition is predicted to occur at 1100 GPa; the most common crystal structure of diamond is called diamond cubic. It is formed of unit cells stacked together. Although there are 18 atoms in the figure, each corner atom is shared by eight unit cells and each atom in the center of a face is shared by two, so there are a total of eight atoms per unit cell; each side of the unit cell is 3.57 angstroms in length. A diamond cubic lattice can be thought of as two interpenetrating face-centered cubic lattices with one displaced by 1/4 of the diagonal along a cubic cell, or as one lattice with two atoms associated with each lattice point.
Looked at from a <1 1 1> crystallographic direction, it is formed of layers stacked in a repeating ABCABC... pattern. Diamonds can form an ABAB... structure, known as hexagonal diamond or lonsdaleite, but this is far less common and is formed under different conditions from cubic carbon. Diamonds occur most as euhedral or rounded octahedra and twinned octahedra known as macles; as diamond's crystal structure has a cubic arrangement of the atoms, they have many facets that belong to a cube, rhombicosidodecahedron, tetrakis hexahedron or disdyakis dodecahedron. The crystals can be elongated. Diamonds are found coated in nyf, an opaque gum-like skin; some diamonds have opaque fibers. They are referred to as opaque if the fibers
Deforestation, clearcutting or clearing is the removal of a forest or stand of trees from land, converted to a non-forest use. Deforestation can involve conversion of forest land to ranches, or urban use; the most concentrated deforestation occurs in tropical rainforests. About 31% of Earth's land surface is covered by forests. Deforestation can occur for several reasons: trees can be cut down to be used for building or sold as fuel, while cleared land can be used as pasture for livestock and plantation; the removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in habitat damage, biodiversity loss, aridity. It has adverse impacts on biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation has been used in war to deprive the enemy of vital resources and cover for its forces. Modern examples of this were the use of Agent Orange by the British military in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency and by the United States military in Vietnam during the Vietnam War; as of 2005, net deforestation rates had ceased to increase in countries with a per capita GDP of at least US$4,600.
Deforested regions incur significant adverse soil erosion and degrade into wasteland. Disregard of ascribed value, lax forest management, deficient environmental laws are some of the factors that lead to large-scale deforestation. In many countries, deforestation–both occurring and human-induced–is an ongoing issue. Deforestation causes extinction, changes to climatic conditions and displacement of populations, as observed by current conditions and in the past through the fossil record. More than half of all plant and land animal species in the world live in tropical forests. Between 2000 and 2012, 2.3 million square kilometres of forests around the world were cut down. As a result of deforestation, only 6.2 million square kilometres remain of the original 16 million square kilometres of tropical rainforest that covered the Earth. An area the size of a football pitch is cleared from the Amazon rainforest every minute, with 136 million acres of rainforest cleared for animal agriculture overall.
According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, the overwhelming direct cause of deforestation is agriculture. Subsistence farming is responsible for 48% of deforestation. Experts do not agree on whether industrial logging is an important contributor to global deforestation; some argue that poor people are more to clear forest because they have no alternatives, others that the poor lack the ability to pay for the materials and labour needed to clear forest. One study found that population increases due to high fertility rates were a primary driver of tropical deforestation in only 8% of cases. Other causes of contemporary deforestation may include corruption of government institutions, the inequitable distribution of wealth and power, population growth and overpopulation, urbanization. Globalization is viewed as another root cause of deforestation, though there are cases in which the impacts of globalization have promoted localized forest recovery. In 2000 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that "the role of population dynamics in a local setting may vary from decisive to negligible", that deforestation can result from "a combination of population pressure and stagnating economic and technological conditions".
The degradation of forest ecosystems has been traced to economic incentives that make forest conversion appear more profitable than forest conservation. Many important forest functions have no markets, hence, no economic value, apparent to the forests' owners or the communities that rely on forests for their well-being. From the perspective of the developing world, the benefits of forest as carbon sinks or biodiversity reserves go to richer developed nations and there is insufficient compensation for these services. Developing countries feel that some countries in the developed world, such as the United States of America, cut down their forests centuries ago and benefited economically from this deforestation, that it is hypocritical to deny developing countries the same opportunities, i.e. that the poor shouldn't have to bear the cost of preservation when the rich created the problem. Some commentators have noted a shift in the drivers of deforestation over the past 30 years. Whereas deforestation was driven by subsistence activities and government-sponsored development projects like transmigration in countries like Indonesia and colonization in Latin America, Java, so on, during the late 19th century and the earlier half of the 20th century, by the 1990s the majority of deforestation was caused by industrial factors, including extractive industries, large-scale cattle ranching, extensive agriculture.
Since 2001, commodity-driven deforestation, more to be permanent, has accounted for about a quarter of all forest disturbance, this loss has been concentrated in South America and Southeast Asia. Deforestation is shaping climate and geography. Deforestation is a contributor to global warming, is cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Tropical deforestation is responsible for 20% of world greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change deforestation in tropical areas, could account for up to one-third of total anthropogenic carbon d
Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a dry area of land becomes a desert losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as through climate change and through the overexploitation of soil through human activity; when deserts appear automatically over the natural course of a planet's life cycle it can be called a natural phenomenon. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem with far reaching consequences on socio-economic and political conditions. Considerable controversy exists over the proper definition of the term "desertification" for which Helmut Geist has identified more than 100 formal definitions; the most accepted of these is that of the Princeton University Dictionary which defines it as "the process of fertile land transforming into desert as a result of deforestation, drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture". Desertification has been neatly defined in the text of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as "land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities."Another major contribution to the controversy comes from the sub-grouping of types of desertification.
Spanning from the vague yet shortsighted view as the "man-made-desert" to the broader yet less focused type as the "Non-pattern-Desert". The earliest known discussion of the topic arose soon after the French colonization of West Africa, when the Comité d'Etudes commissioned a study on desséchement progressif to explore the prehistoric expansion of the Sahara Desert; the world's most noted deserts have been formed by natural processes interacting over long intervals of time. During most of these times, deserts have shrunk independent of human activities. Paleodeserts are large sand seas now inactive because they are stabilized by vegetation, some extending beyond the present margins of core deserts, such as the Sahara, the largest hot desert. Desertification has played a significant role in human history, contributing to the collapse of several large empires, such as Carthage and the Roman Empire, as well as causing displacement of local populations. Historical evidence shows that the serious and extensive land deterioration occurring several centuries ago in arid regions had three epicenters: the Mediterranean, the Mesopotamian Valley, the Loess Plateau of China, where population was dense.
Drylands occupy 40–41% of Earth’s land area and are home to more than 2 billion people. It has been estimated that some 10–20% of drylands are degraded, the total area affected by desertification being between 6 and 12 million square kilometres, that about 1–6% of the inhabitants of drylands live in desertified areas, that a billion people are under threat from further desertification; as of 1998, the then-current degree of southward expansion of the Sahara was not well known, due to a lack of recent, measurable expansion of the desert into the Sahel at the time. The impact of global warming and human activities are presented in the Sahel. In this area, the level of desertification is high compared to other areas in the world. All areas situated in the eastern part of Africa are characterized by a dry climate, hot temperatures, low rainfall. So, droughts are the rule in the Sahel region; some studies have shown that Africa has lost 650,000 km² of its productive agricultural land over the past 50 years.
The propagation of desertification in this area is considerable. Some statistics have shown that since 1900 the Sahara has expanded by 250 km to the south over a stretch of land from west to east 6,000 km long; the survey, done by the research institute for development, had demonstrated that this means dryness is spreading fast in the Sahelian countries. 70% of the arid area has deteriorated and water resources have disappeared, leading to soil degradation. The loss of topsoil means that plants cannot take root and can be uprooted by torrential water or strong winds; the United Nations Convention says that about six million Sahelian citizens would have to give up the desertified zones of sub-Saharan Africa for North Africa and Europe between 1997 and 2020. Another major area, being impacted by desertification is the Gobi Desert; the Gobi desert is the fastest moving desert on Earth. This has destroyed many villages in its path. Photos show that the Gobi Desert has expanded to the point the entire nation of Croatia could fit inside its area.
This is causing a major problem for the people of China. They will soon have to deal with the desert. Although the Gobi Desert itself is still a distance away from Beijing, reports from field studies state there are large sand dunes forming only 70 km outside the city; as the desertification takes place, the landscape may progress through different stages and continuously transform in appearance. On sloped terrain, desertification can create larger empty spaces over a large strip of land, a phenomenon known as "Brousse tigrée". A mathematical model of this phenomenon proposed by C. Klausmeier attributes this patterning to dynamics in plant-water interaction. One outcome of this observation suggests an optimal plan
Libreville is the capital and largest city of Gabon, in western central Africa. The city is a port on the Komo River, near the Gulf of Guinea, a trade center for a timber region; as of 2013, its census population was 703,904. The area was inhabited by the Mpongwé tribe before the French acquired the land in 1839. In 1846, a Brazilian slave ship was captured by the French navy assisting the British Blockade of Africa, fifty-two of the freed slaves were resettled on the site, it became the chief port of French Equatorial Africa from 1934 to 1946, was the central focus of the Battle of Gabon in 1940. Libreville was named in imitation of Freetown, grew as a trading post and a minor administrative centre, reaching a population of 32,000 on independence in 1960. Since independence, the city has grown and now houses nearly half the national population, it is home to a shipbuilding industry, brewing industry, sawmills, exports raw materials such as wood and cocoa. The area was inhabited by the Mpongwé tribe long before the French acquired the land in 1839.
American missionaries from New England established a mission in Baraka, Gabon, on what is now Libreville, in 1842. In 1846, the Brazilian slave ship L'Elizia, carrying slaves from the Congo, was captured near Loango by the French navy, tasked with contributing the British Blockade of Africa. Fifty-two of the freed slaves were resettled on the site of Libreville in 1849, it was the chief port of French Equatorial Africa from 1934 to 1946, was the central focus of the Battle of Gabon in 1940. In 1910, French Equatorial Africa was created, French companies were allowed to exploit the Middle Congo, it soon became necessary to build a railroad that would connect Brazzaville, the terminus of the river navigation on the Congo River and the Ubangui River, with the Atlantic coast. As rapids make it impossible to navigate on the Congo River past Brazzaville, the coastal railroad terminus site had to allow for the construction of a deep-sea port, authorities chose the site of Ponta Negra instead of Libreville as envisaged.
Construction of the Congo–Ocean Railway began in 1921, Libreville was surpassed by the rapid growth of Pointe-Noire, farther down the coast. Libreville was named in imitation of Freetown, grew only as a trading post and a minor administrative centre to a population of 32,000 on independence in 1960, it only received its first bank branch when Bank of West Africa opened a branch in 1930. Since independence, the city has grown and now houses nearly half the national population. From north to south, major districts of the city are the residential area Batterie IV, Quartier Louis, Mont-Bouët and Nombakélé, Glass and Lalala, a residential area; the city's port and train station on the Trans-Gabon Railway line to Franceville lie in Owendo, south of the main built-up area. Inland from these districts lie poorer residential areas. North-west of Equatorial Guinea is where the city stands, labeling the city as a part of north-west Gabon. In terms of the country's surrounding boundaries, north is Cameroon, east is Congo, south-east is the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It rides the shores of the South Atlantic Ocean, on the country's west coast for reference. Additionally, in terms of aquatic geography, the Komo River passes through the city and empties into the ocean; the Komo River stands as a potential hydroelectric source of power for the city which could generate supportive amounts of energy and power. Several city districts provide separate benefits throughout the city as well. In terms of nightlife, the Quartier Louis sector is most renowned. One of this zone's sides includes the coast, this influences the possible activities available in the area. Commercial areas within Libreville are housed in the Mont-Bouët and Nombakélé districts, which feature several shopping centers and stations selling purchasable goods. Oloumi contains much of the city's industry, integrating production separately from the districts that focus upon other aspects. Lalala and Batterie IV are residential and housing sectors, where much of the populace resides. Libreville features a tropical monsoon climate with a short dry season.
The city's wet season spans about nine months, with a great deal of rain falling during these months. Its dry season lasts from June through August, is caused by the cold Benguela Current reaching its northernmost extent and suppressing rainfall. Despite the lack of rain, Libreville remains cloudy during this time of year; as is common with many cities with this climate, average temperatures remain constant throughout the course of the year, with average high temperatures at around 29 °C. Libreville International Airport is the largest airport in Gabon and is located around 11 kilometres north of the city. National Taxis operate around the city; each district has a colour for its taxis and Libreville's is red. The National Society of Transport just launched the new taxis; the Gabonese Transport Company operates a bus service to all districts of Libreville. Sights in Libreville include: the National Museum of Arts and Traditions the French cultural centre St Marie's Cathedral, seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Libreville the carved wood church of St Michael, Nkembo the Arboretum de Sibang two cultural villagesLibreville's main market lies in Mont-Bouët.
Gabon's school of administration and school of law are in Librevi