Gabon’s President pledges inheritance for youth

President Ali Bongo is expected to inherit vast sums when his father's will is carried out

President Ali Bongo is expected to inherit vast sums when his father’s will is carried out

Gabon’s President Ali Bongo has pledged to give away all the money he inherits from his father, to set up a foundation for the country’s youth.

“In my eyes we are all heirs of Omar Bongo,” he said in a national address.

The will of his father, who ruled for 41 years until his death in 2009, is yet to be settled. He reportedly left a fortune worth many millions of dollars.

French judges are currently probing the Bongo family over alleged embezzlement, accusations which they strongly deny.

Gabon is a major oil producer, but a third of its population live in poverty, according to the World Bank.

In a speech to mark the country’s 55th independence anniversary, President Bongo said that in addition to his inheritance money for the youth foundation, the family would be donating a building in the capital, Libreville, to start a new university.

“No Gabonese must be left by the side of the road,” he added.

Two properties belonging to Omar Bongo in the French capital, Paris, would also be given to the state, he said.

“I know my father, from where he is now, watches us and hears us. I also know that he approves this decision and gives us his blessing,” the AFP news agency quotes President Bongo as saying.

–BBC

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