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Published on 10 August 2017

Gabon: Ali Bongo's real challenge lies in financial crisis

A year after his election, Ali Bongo is facing a financial crisis of great magnitude.

Gabon's president Ali Bongo got off to a rocky start, winning an election bitterly contested by his opponent Jean Ping and apathetically validated by international courts. A year on, he now faces a much stiffer challenger than his political rivals. The collapse of the oil prices has plunged the country into a prolonged financial crisis, needing urgent action from the new regime.

To revive the country's economy, which is dragging along colossal debt, the Gabon president is firing on all cylinders. The country is late in paying suppliers even as it tries to open up its mining sector and pressure oil firms active in Gabon to maximise local labour and pay the State dividends from their operations.

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