Today marks 60 years of independence from France as Gabon as a country celebrates a national holiday today. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the normal traditional parade festivities were canceled with only a simple patriotic display to accompany the customary presidential address by Ali Bongo Ondimba who paid tribute to predecessors and outlined national economic projects, underway.
Various concerns of the Gabonese population about the state of roads, challenges regarding unemployment, the health and education systems were addressed by the Head of the Republic. Ali Bongo even mentioned some road projects presently been carried out and targeted to be completed by 2023. He also highlighted the achievement in an improved healthcare system over the last ten years.
Indeed, a simple glance around the supermarkets in the capital Libreville shows isles full of food products.
Gabon as a country has not done really well and has failed to feed its population as almost all their food products are being imported from neighboring countries. The small oil emirate gets supplies of frozen meats and poultry from Europe and Latin America and rice from Thailand.
The country spends an equivalent of 500,000,000 million euros (360 billion Central African CFA francs) on the importation of food products annually, according to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The country is a promising increase in local production of food.
France officially colonized Gabon in 1885 and it became part of French Equatorial Guinea. After the nation attained independence, France established a new dynamic with Gabon partly motivated by the West African nation’s uranium wealth which was key to France’s nuclear program.