Omar Bongo is dead

Omar Bongo, the president of Gabon and Africa’s longest serving ruler has died. Mr. Bongo had intestinal cancer and had gone to Barcelona, Spain for treatment. He took over power in 1967.

The African state of 1.5 million has considerable oil reserves, timber and manganese deposits and enjoys a per capita income of a middle income country – at US $14,400 according to the CIA Factbook. But due to a high level of income inequality, hundreds of thousands of Gabonese still live in poverty. Gabon was ranked 116th on the 2007/2008 UNDP Human Development Report. Like most mineral-rich African countries, corruption is endemic in Gabon. For instance, earlier this year anti-corruption activists accused president Bongo of buying French property with proceeds from corruption.

According to the constitution of Gabon, the head of the country’s senate will be the interim president until elections are held within 90 days.

2 thoughts on “Omar Bongo is dead

  1. Well, I think this death can be positive for Gabon – he leaves the country is a sorry state, having spent so long in power, only to misuse that power for economic theft and mismanagement. The dictators of one-party countries are happy to leave the development work and the feeding of their hungry peoples to western nations and charities, while they sun themselves in their French villas with corrupt business elites who are only too happy to help them steal their people wealth in return for a piece of the pie. He is not fit for heaven. I hope his son – the defense minister – is thrown to the wolves now his protector has departed the stage.

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