Republican Tour / Stage Ogooué-Ivindo and Woleu Ntem (Gabon)


Gabon News

Date Published
Translated from French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original. Thank you to Anne Dillon for both volunteering her time to find these French articles and doing the online translating.

The President of the Republic, His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba, went Thursday to the heart of the province of Ogooué-Ivindo to meet people whose plantations are regularly devastated by forest elephants.

Accompanied by First Lady Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the President of the Republic went to the plantation of  Andock, located ten minutes from Makokou, which is regularly visited by elephants. Because poaching is rampant in the two national parks of the province, namely Lopé national park and the Ivindo, elephants find refuge in inhabited areas, around which are the village plantations.

The Head of State recalled having understood the importance of finding a lasting solution to this problem in order to avoid ruining the efforts of Ogivins who wish to work the land for their own subsistence but also for the development of agriculture in the province.

To realize this desire to “change together,” Ali Bongo Ondimba announced that further concrete steps were being taken to prevent elephants from devastating crops, including installation, by the National Agency of National Parks (ANPN), of electric fences deployed around the plantations and fed by a system of solar panels and batteries. Four plantations of Ogooue Ivindo, including three integrated into the seed program, in the coming weeks will experience this new management approach of cohabitation between man and elephant, thanks to training from three Kenyan rangers who are expected in Libreville.

“Solutions exist and here is the proof. The change here is that we have not given up. We found a solution for everyone to be protected,” said the president.

The action plan of the ANPN is to border the Andock plantation, which is organized on around thirty hectares in an agrarian cooperative run by five families. The plantation of  Etakagniabé (15 kilometers from Makokou), which extends over 40 hectares and which is working to cultivate a dozen families, will also benefit from this new measure, as well as the plantation of  Nzevatican (25 hectares), located on the road to Mékambo. A final plantation, that of Kazamabicka (20 hectares), in the Lopé, is also affected by the project to encourage people to engage in agriculture.

For a year and a half, the Seed Project (Gabon agricultural achievements and initiatives of national commitment) has been running in the province of Ogooué-Ivindo. Seed is to create jobs in rural areas and encourage diversification of the national economic development in the agricultural sector.

In March 2015, the President of the Republic went to Makokou, the capital of Ogouué-Ivindo, to officially launch the project and put the land titles from 1458 hectares to 106 cooperatives ready for the challenge. In August 2015, eight young Ogivins left Malaysia follow a certifying agricultural training by Olam, Singaporean partner of the state in this project, which is the most ambitious program to support small farmers in the continent.

Thursday evening, the president and his wife joined the Woleu Ntem on the second major stage of the tour that the Republican head of state performed since Wednesday in the northern region of the country. The presidential couple stopped first in the city of Oyem, capital of the historically producing cocoa and rubber province.

In an electric atmosphere the President of the Republic recalled the work done and committed in the province: “I have always acted for the Woleu Ntem and I did not wait to be president for that!”

Recalling his choice to appoint Professor Daniel Ona Ondo, man of the North of the country, to the post of Prime Minister, the president of the Republic stressed the importance of equal opportunities: “Before it was necessary to be of the Estuary to have this post! With me, whether you are from North or South, only the work matters. Merit! It is merit which must be at the heart of our society whether you are the son of civil servant, the son of a doctor, or a Minister’s son.”

In this evocation, the crowd came in numbers, responding in clear support: we want change, together.