News / Africa

Gabon Implements Policies to Woo Investors

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Gert Vandersmissen, top official of a tropical agricultural investment company, SIAT

Peter Clottey
This is Part Five of a six-part series on Gabon
Continue to Parts:     1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

 

The administration of President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba says it is working to attract investment to the country.

Officials say, for example, that the government will establish an agency to guarantee a “single window clearance” policy, specifically for investors. They say it should help expedite the necessary documents they need to start their businesses.

They cite the sharp increase in direct foreign funding as a symbol of the country’s dynamic economy and the government’s continuing partnerships with private organizations.

Even so, some experts say the country still lags in attracting private investors.  The yearly publication called Doing Business 2012 rates Gabon as 156 out of 183 nations evaluated.


The report rates Gabon lower with regard to “ease of doing business” than several neighboring countries, including  Cameroon,  Sao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and the Central African Republic.

The publication, issued by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, shows that it takes an investor about 58 days to start a business in Gabon, compared to15 days in Cameroon, 21 in Central African Republic and 10 in Sao Tome and Principe.

In addition, the 2011 and 2012 reports did not show an improvement in the total number of days needed to start a business in Gabon.

Nor did it show an improvement in the number of days needed to receive a construction permit. The latest report says getting a permit in Gabon took 201 days, which is more than the number of days required in Cameroon (147), Democratic Republic of Congo (117) and Equatorial Guinea (166).  In contrast, neighbors Angola (321) and Central African Republic (203) did worse.

But set some investors do see promise.  Among them are officials with the France-based Investment Organization for Tropical Agriculture, which manages nearly 2,000 hectares of rubber and palm oil plantations in Gabon.

Gert Vandersmissen, a top official with the company, said he appreciates government efforts to improve the business climate.  But he says political stability in Gabon – as in other countries – is just one element needed for business to thrive.

“As a private company,” he said, “we need good infrastructure and a solid judicial system, without corruption, so that we can do what we do best. So, far the government is not pushing us and is not working against us so that we can do our job and that is how it should be.”

Another investor, Tauhid Monif,  says his investment company, the Abhijeet group,  is planning a long-term presence in the country.

“Avenues have opened up [including an offer to set] up one of the biggest plants over here,” said Monif.

His India-based company specializes in power generation, mining, ferroalloys, steel and roads – all of which are needed to raise living standards in a nation with high levels of poverty and income inequality.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George Nyouki
March 05, 2012 4:40 AM
Investor should also try the Gambia the haven of peace in Africa and they will never regret it.We are a wonderful place to do business


by: Michael Alao
March 04, 2012 1:50 PM
GABON's dream for break through will be realised in conducive ECONONIC/ BUSINESS climate.Also pragmatic POLITICAL WILL in viable enabling environment is required. Good INFRASTRUCTURE and maintanance culture along side Political Stability will attract Agricultural Investment to be sustained by only equitable Peace of course. Thanks.


by: almoros
March 03, 2012 6:26 AM
Next great news from Gabon, Thank You SIAT! This's what Africa is in great need, another more greater sceams!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid