Andre Ayew, the former Swansea striker, put the Black Stars in front in the 18th minute with a superb low strike from range. Baba (no.17) is pictured top after the celebrations.
Ghana held on to that advantage until two minutes from time despite playing well below their best. On the hour they were indebted to Baba, the left-back on loan at Reading this season, who cleared a goalbound shot from close to the goal-line to preserve the Black Stars’ lead.
But there was nothing he could do when Gabon levelled in the 88th minute, Jim Allevinah firing in from the left-hand side of the box to make it 1-1.
Ghanian frustrations spilled over at full-time leading to a mass brawl that resulted in Ghana’s Benjamin Tetteh being shown a red card long after the final whistle.
The result leads Ghana in some strife heading into their final group game on Tuesday. They are third in Group C with one point, three points behind Gabon and five off Morocco.
The Black Stars play Comoros on Tuesday evening knowing they must win and hope Gabon lose to Morocco to stand any chance of finishing in the top two. If they win and Gabon avoid defeat, their only hope of advancing is as one of the best four third-place teams.
Earlier on Friday, Senegal were held to a goalless draw by Guinea with Edouard Mendy again absent having tested positive for Covid last weekend.
Senegal and Guinea remain locked on four points each at the top of Group B following a game of very few chances. Senegal, who have all but qualified for the last 16, complete their group schedule against Malawi on Tuesday.