News / Africa

    Gabon Prime Minister to Name Government This Week

    Gabon President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba has launched an ambitious development agenda to transform the country.
    Gabon President Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba has launched an ambitious development agenda to transform the country.
    Peter Clottey
    Gabon’s new prime minister, Daniel Ona Ondo, will name a new government this week after he was chosen by President Ali Bongo Ondimba following regional and municipal elections, according to presidential communications adviser Igor Simard.

    According to official provisional results from the electoral body, President Bongo’s ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) won more than 60 percent of the total vote during the December 14 elections.

    Simard says Prime Minister Ona Ondo, who served as first deputy speaker of parliament, brings a wide range of economic and academc experience needed to transform the country’s education system and improve general living conditions. Mr. Ona Ondo replaces former prime minister, Raymond Ndong Sima.

    Mr. Ona Ondo has held several ministerial positions including national education and culture portfolios in a previous government, according to Simard.

    “As you know, education is a very big pillar of the agenda of the president, so it is going to be very helpful when it comes to the time to change our education system,” said Simard.  “As the former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, he knows how to [navigate] the legislative related matters to help with the passing of bills in parliament.”

    Simard says the new prime minister will help implement Mr. Ondimba’s “emerging Gabon” initiative to improve the social-economic conditions in the country.

    “From now till 2016, we will strengthen the social system with health, education and social housing and because [Mr. Ona Ondo] has a strong background in those areas, he is the right man for this,” said Simard.  

    But some opposition groups say the government has failed to meet the aspirations as well as keep promises Mr. Ondimba made in the run-up to the 2009 presidential election.

    Simard disagreed.

    “Of course, this is the role of the opposition to say that some aspects have not been fulfilled completely.  But, we’ve got until 2016 to complete the mandate of the president and to fulfill all the promises,” said Simard.  “It has been four years, since the president implemented measures to change a lot of things, and the results show in the human index development, where Gabon is first in the Sub-Sahara zone.”

    Simard also cited the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's good governance index that reported Gabon has made strides in education since Mr. Ondimba won the 2009 presidential vote.

    But observers say the government has yet to keep promises of better wages and improved living conditions or address the socio-economic challenges citizens face, after more than four years in power.

    Simard says the administration is implementing measures to address the concerns of the people, including reducing the cost of living.

    “If you want to decrease the cost of goods, you have to produce more goods and material in your country. And that is precisely what we are doing," said Simard. 

    “We established new industries, new business, and we try to attract international investors just to produce goods and services.  This is not something that can happen in just six or nine months.  It takes time and we are already getting some results and we will continue in this manner.”

    Clottey interview with Igor Simard, Gabon presidential adviser
    Clottey interview with Igor Simard, Gabon presidential adviseri
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora