Coup d'Etat foiled and under Control
The government of Gabon declared that it was in control after an attempted coup by army rebels this morning and that it had arrested most of those involved. “Calm has returned, the situation is under control,” government spokesperson Guy-Bertrand Mapangou told AFP.
Only hours earlier, soldiers burst into state radio and called on the people to “rise up”, an apparent bid to oust ailing President Ali Bongo, who is out of the country. Of the five who did this, according to Mapangou, “four have been arrested and one is on the run”.
New Opportunities for Cooperation with China
Last week China and Gabon agreed to enhance alignment of development strategies and jointly explore new opportunities for cooperation. During a meeting with President of the Republic of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang said Gabon is an important cooperative partner of China in central Africa, and China is ready to work with Gabon to transform economic complementary advantages into results.
China is willing to deepen cooperation with Gabon in the areas of resource development, infrastructure construction, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and further processing according to market rules, he said. Li said China-designed passenger aircraft can meet the needs of African countries and help develop the regional aviation…
Diversification away from Oil with Eyes on Asia
The announcement made by still-President Ali Bongo, who is seeking reelection, to turn to Asia in his bid to diversify Gabon’s oil-dependent economy does not coma as a surprise. Nigeria, compared to Gabon a Giant had long to learn the tough reality of being too dependent on oil. Although the oil price has since then picked up slightly with hovering around the US$ 50-Mark for the barrel of Brent Crude Oil, his critics still dismiss the changes as largely cosmetic. The economy is a key issue in the presidential election, which Bongo hopes will deliver him a second seven-year term.
First large non-oil Investments
In the north, a large area of forest is being cleared to make way for a rubber plantation developed by Singapore’s gia…
Government starting Joint Venture with Singapore Rubber Producer
Olam, the commodity supplier controlled by Singapore’s Temasek, says it will start rubber production from plantations it owns in a venture with Gabon’s government.Olam intends to sell the rubber to Michelin, Europe’s biggest tyremaker, Tiburce Bobedzang, a plantation official, said from Batouri in the northern region of Gabon. About 7 493 hectares of rubber plants “are about to go into production,” Bobedzang said.
Olam established itself in the central African country in 1999 and has concluded a deal with its government to develop at least 28 000 h/a of rubber plantations. Olam’s partnerships with the nation extend to palm oil and fertiliser. “Our objective is to plant 5 000 h/a per year in order to become major rubber producers in Af…
Fitch Ratings reduces Outlook from "stable" to "negative"
Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlook on Gabon’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to Negative from Stable and affirmed the IDRs at ‘BB-’. The issue ratings on the Gabon’s senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at ‘BB-’. Fitch has affirmed Gabon’s Short-term IDR at ‘B’ and its Country Ceiling at ‘BBB-’, in line with the Country Ceiling for Communaute Economique et Monetaire d’Afrique Centrale (CEMAC). KEY RATING DRIVERS The revision of the Outlook reflects the following key rating drivers and their relative weights: Medium Declines in Gabon’s oil production makes the sovereign more sensitive to oil price shocks. Lower oil revenues in 2015 will weigh on Gabon’s fiscal and …
Government continues to pay Investors almost US$ 750m
Gabon has paid back more than US$ 700m in debt owed to private companies and plans to make another payment by the end of 2014, the Presidency said this week. Investors in the oil, timber and construction sectors have complained that the oil-rich Central African state is years behind in payments to local operators, though none were prepared to go on the record. The statement from the office of President Ali Bongo said it had committed to repaying the debts following an audit of public finances for 2013-2014. The International Monetary Fund also visited the country to discuss the arrears in November.
“Since the beginning of the year, 385.7bn Central African francs (US$ 732m) were disbursed and a new instalment will be paid by the end of…
Economy diversifies to attract Investors
Gabon wants to lure investors into its mining, manufacturing and tourism sectors as it tries to reduce its dependence on oil exports and court capital from countries other than former colonial master France. The Central African country relies heavily on oil exports but President Ali Bongo says the economy cannot remain reliant on petroleum if it wants to achieve its goal of becoming an emerging economic power by 2025.
In the humid capital Libreville, a clean palm-lined coastal road runs parallel to a busy Atlantic shipping lane. Unlike most African capitals, stray animals and beggars are almost entirely absent. Local cafes sell baguettes and French patisseries in a testament to the lasting French influence. The country is sub-Saharan …
Ivory Poaching still the Issue
Gabon’s government, blessed with billions of dollars of oil money and miles and miles of virgin rain forest, has made many of the right moves to protect its animals by setting aside chunks of land for national parks, actually paying wildlife rangers on time (a rarity in Africa) and recently destroying a towering mountain of ivory in a statement of its refusal to look the other way. But as the price of ivory keeps going up, hitting levels too high for many people to resist, Gabon’s elephants are getting slaughtered by poachers from across the borders and within the rain forests, proof that just about nowhere in Africa are elephants safe. In the past several years, 10,000 elephants in Gabon have been wiped out, some picked off by impoveris…