News / Africa

Gabon President Aims to Lift Living Standards

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.
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
This is Part One of a six-part series on African Investment
Continue to Parts:   2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba says he is determined to fulfill the aspirations of citizens to better their lives.

In an exclusive interview with VOA at the recent gathering by the group New York Forum Africa held in the Gabonese capital Libreville, President Bongo Ondimba said his recently launched "Emerging Gabon" initiative will help citizens realize their potential and lift living standards.

Emerging Gabon initiative  

Bongo Ondimba underscored the rationale behind his decision to become president of Gabon and his vision for the country.

"I want to make sure that I fulfill the aspirations of the Gabonese people: to have access to a better life, job opportunities and importantly for the Gabonese people themselves to take into their own hands the development of their own country," said Bongo Ondimba.

Officials say the Emerging Gabon Initiative is built on three main pillars: Green Gabon, Industrial Gabon; and Service-oriented Gabon.

Green Gabon aims to use forestry, agriculture and ecotourism to help the sustainable development of the country’s ecosystem:  22 million hectares of forest, one million hectares of arable land, 13 national parks and 800 kilometers of coastline.

Industrial Gabon will promote the local processing of raw materials, exports of high value-added products and the diversification of the national economy.

Service-orientated Gabon will develop the country’s human resources in order to become a regional leader in financial services, new information technologies and the green economy, higher education and health care.

President Bongo Ondimba expressed confidence in the plan.

"So far, so good… In the last three years we have been able to secure billions of dollars for investment. So that’s a sign that Gabon is back in the business of trust, that people feel they can come in and invest. We need that, and that’s really important for us," he said.

He called for public support for his administration’s development agenda. He said individual success is based on "ambition, belief and then work. There is nothing that you can do without working. We have to work twice as hard in order to fulfill our ambitions."

Forum opportunities

President Bongo Ondimba said his country’s decision to help organize and co-host the conference of New York Forum Africa is part of his plan to attract investment to his country.

The objectives of the Emerging Gabon Initiative, said Bongo Ondimba, would be accomplished within the next 13 years.

"That’s why we fixed the target of 2025 for us to reach the status of an emerging country, necessary not just for us to have sustainable development, but a sturdy one. So, this [New York] forum is part of that --for us to connect with the rest of the world, and tell [it] to come to Gabon," he said.

He said his government is preparing the public for increased investment by improving education – though he says both go hand in hand.

"For you to be able to do what you need to do, we need to have strong economic growth, therefore you have revenue [to] really [invest] in education and health of the people," he said.


The Gabonese government signed several agreements at the end of the meeting of New York Forum Africa.  One with the Moroccan property developer, the ADDOHA Company, focuses on housing and construction. 

The asset management group YCAP will work with the Gabonese investment fund in the agriculture, infrastructure, and financial engineering sectors.

The three-day meeting was co-organized by Richard Attias and Associates. It aimed to find models for bolstering business growth and resolve challenges to development. The meeting attracted hundreds of industry figures, entrepreneurs, and political decision-makers from across Africa. 

The World Bank says Gabon’s economy has grown over the past few years, thanks to higher oil prices and government efforts to promote privatization and budgetary reforms and cut corruption.  In recent years, it had a growth rate of up to 5 percent.

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Comment Sorting
by: florent mbesse from: los angeles Ca
July 16, 2012 11:41 AM
those are all good ideas. the president had traveled the world and he knows how the world looks like and I can see him having the same vision as myself. that dream of making gabon what it is supposed to be and what it should have been long ago. Gabon is one of the richest country in africa with so much natural resources. there should not be any reason why gabon should not be like doubai, saoudia arabia and all those rich oil countries. no explanation to it what so ever but the use of words such as corruption, misuse of funds that the president eliminated or a least reduced upon his arrival to power being part of the innecircle. a gabonese by birth my dream always been to see the gabonese people florish. unfortunately the climate never given me that opportinity base on certain conditions. but when you read all my writting from face book and others the aspiration is there and the motivation is there the only missing link is the connection. the president's anty is my best friend and I made proposition to the president thru my friend to give me that trust. it is always been up to the president to react. I can florish on my own.never needed help from anybody but again my dream always been the gabonese people and I am sure the president knows who I am and the president knows where to reach if he so choose. let me put it this way. the president and the gabonese people will not be disapointed my dream is enormous with the president or without the president it will be fulfilled.

by: almoros idriss
July 10, 2012 7:49 AM
Thank you so much president Ali Bongo and God bless you and Gabon! Africa is the richest continent; enough is enough for our African nations to survive anymore and our young ones ought not to be drawn or chased in the midetrenian sea!

by: pro: labiad from:
July 03, 2012 2:42 PM

promotion of Special Forces
Mon, 07/02/2012 - 8:14pm Tags:Western Sahara Smara, July02, 2012(SPS) President of the Republic Mohamed Abdelaziz, Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Chief of armed forces, chaired on Monday in Wilaya of Smara , graduation ceremony of promotion of special forces called “Mahfud Alibaiba” ,in presence of some member of the Polisario’s leadership , Saharawi government and staff officers of Saharawi liberation army.
The promotion performed a military parade and models of arts andcombat sports that has learned and earned over one year of military training in the military school of Martyr Elwali Mostapha.
The ceremony which also attended by population of wilaya of Samara continued with distribution of certifications to the outstanding graduates by the President of the Republic and the Minister of defense, Mohamed Lamin Albuhali.
After the ceremony President Mohamed Abdelaziz, accompanied by political and military leadership headed to the cemetery of Smara to honor the memory of the deceased Mahfoud Ali Beiba on the second anniversary of his death.western sahara press sedrvice (SPS)

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