Gabon’s Chief, Ali Bongo Ondimba, Was Extra Admired Overseas Than at Residence

Actually, poverty is rife: a report by McKinsey in 2013 estimated that 30 p.c of Gabonese lived on $140 a month. But even within the poorest components of Libreville residing situations are higher than in a lot of the area.

Mr. Bongo’s kitchen cupboard is full of Western advisers who stroll by means of authorities workplaces and in a single case was appointed a minister: Lee White, a British-born scientist, who since 2019 has been minister of water, forests, the ocean and setting.

About 15 years in the past, Mr. Bongo started specializing in the nation’s forests — house to western lowland gorillas, forest elephants, chimps and mandrills, and a part of the Congo Basin, one of many world’s most essential carbon sinks.

Omar Bongo, created 13 nationwide parks protecting 10 p.c of Gabon’s landmass, and Ali Bongo continued that keenness. He flew by helicopter to his non-public reserve, the place he saved lions, tigers, cheetahs, cougars and leopards.

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