Bongo in 2001
|2nd President of Gabon|
2 December 1967 â€“ 8 June 2009
|Prime Minister||LÃ©on MÃ©biame
Jean-FranÃ§ois Ntoutoume Emane
Jean Eyeghe Ndong
|Vice President||Didjob Divungi Di Ndinge|
|Preceded by||LÃ©on M’ba|
|Succeeded by||Rose Francine RogombÃ©|
30 December 1935
Lewai, French Equatorial Africa (now Bongoville, Gabon)
|Died||8 June 2009
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Louise Mouyabi Moukala (1955â€“1959)
Patience Dabany (1959â€“1986)
Edith Lucie Bongo (1990â€“2009)
|Children||30+ (by various partners)|
Certainly, Africa accounts for only l % of world trade, and we cannot assure our development on our own.
Globalization, far from putting an end to power diplomacy between States, has, on the contrary, intensified it.
The world is now aware that the most unavoidable and most dangerous weapon that exists is the blind decisiveness of a man ready to sacrifice his life for an obscure cause.
In spite of our poverty and our economic dependence, we do not have to give in, neither because we are sometimes abandoned nor because of the wish of some nations to impose their economic or political models.
The free market economy is supposed to be the only path leading to the happiness of humanity by promoting wealth and prosperity, power and influence of nations.
If the Soviet Union and the United States have not experienced direct military confrontations, on the other hand, they supported, armed and trained Africans, to fight other Africans.
From the time of independences until the end of the Cold War, in spite of the participation of a considerable number of African states in the non-aligned movement, everyone in fact chose to align with one or another of the two major blocks.
Instead of ideological objectives of a political nature, today we are faced with ideological objectives of economic nature.
It is up to African leaders to show their will and political courage in order to assure that this new pan-African institution becomes an efficient instrument and not a place for endless discussions.
But since independence, Gabon is one of the few countries in Central Africa that enjoys peace and stability.
But the Western countries that link their partnership with the poorest countries with respect for democracy also have to consider that they have obligations towards these countries.
It is not right to associate the fight against international terrorist networks with an imaginary crusade against Islam.
Because the world is in economic recession, which worsened since this drama happened, and our country will bear the burden of all of these consequences.
My actions to promote peace, the mediation missions which I carried out during many conflicts, which very often occurred between brothers of the same country, are not driven by any ulterior motives or any calculations based on personal ambitions.
The principle of responsibility and collective sanctions is incompatible with the Western concept of justice.
It is important to stress: Africa is also a victim of the September 11 attacks.
The shock caused by the September 11 events has also lead to a thorough reflection on the existing disparity between rich and poor countries, on the misery of populations of the South.
For about ten years now, the struggle for democracy and the respect of human rights has been in the focus point – if not a commodity – of political groups aiming to rise to power.
Do not forget that the Arab countries, starting with Algeria and Egypt, are the ones that have paid the heaviest toll because of Islamic terror.
The resources of our continent attract, more than ever, the interests of rich countries.
The birth of the African Union should encourage us to reexamine relations between African States.
I am in favor of complete freedom of information and of free access to the new communication tools, in particular the Internet.
When they favor the access of other people to education and health care, the countries of the North not only demonstrate generosity or solidarity, but also implement the principles of respecting and promoting human rights.
In brief, Western democracy, as other political models, is not exportable to all regions of the world.
But it is important to observe that when Europe or the United Nations impose sanctions that are supposed to be aimed against a certain regime, usually generally millions of people end up being directly punished.
Therefore, every country has to understand that fighting against international terrorism is not for the sake of the United States, but for the sake of themselves, and, to a larger extent, in the name of stability of international relations.
The African Union has to act in order to put an end to armed conflicts that undermine the continent, to fight against the devastation caused by AIDS and other contagious diseases, to promote sustainable development of its member states.