The imam behind the ambassador to Riyadh's appointment
After leaving the post of ambassador to Saudi Arabia vacant for more than a year, President Ali Bongo has appointed a non-diplomat from Gabon's Muslim community.
Presidential affairs coordinator Noureddin Bongo, who is also the president's son, has for the last fortnight been campaigning over Gabon's domestic debt, deemed overvalued. He has also been placing his associates at the head of the country's main financial institutions.
The ex-public works minister Magloire Ngambia, a symbol of the "Mamba" anti-corruption drive, was released on 24 September. Now another high-profile probe into the affairs of former presidential chief of staff Brice Laccruche Alihanga, is also experiencing setbacks that have been kept carefully secret until now.
As a sign of the new balance of power in Libreville, the entourage of two of the country's leading women - first lady Sylvia Bongo and president of Gabon's constitutional court Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo - has come away with the lion share's of the new government positions.
After having been sanctioned by France's financial markets authority, financier Yariv Elbaz has succeeded in making a comeback in Gabon with his fund Ycap, which has become the main financial partner of the country's sovereign fund.
While marching on with its strategy to divest from African infrastructure projects and facing up to a feisty inquiry commission in Mauritania, the Olam group is actively engaging African countries faced with the Covid-19 pandemic to improve its reputation.
While the presidential couple leads the public information campaign on the coronavirus crisis, the all-powerful interior minister Lambert-Noël Matha is keeping a tight grip on the levers of the security apparatus, ready to crack down on any social unrest sparked by the epidemic.
It's been more than five years since BNP Paribas, in the wake of the $8.9 billion fine imposed in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Justice for doing business with countries under sanctions, gave up its very lucrative oil-backed lending and other high-stakes activities in Africa.