Since 1948, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Gabon have forged strong ties, reflecting the steady growth of our activities. These activities leverage Gabon's multidimensional potentials to reduce poverty and foster a dynamic, inclusive economic development. This partnership has endured and will continue for the benefit of future generations.
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AFD AND GABON: Improve access to essential services and sustain the country's natural capital
nature, sheds, Gabon, Sonier Issembé

Support the education and health sectors

education, sport, young girls, Gabon

Support the education and health sectors

Development is sustainable if it helps reduce inequalities. For the past 15 years, AFD has been helping to improve access to quality education and healthcare for Gabon's people.

On the education front, AFD has been actively supporting the improvement of education quality for 18,000 primary and secondary school students since 2016 via the Projet d'investissement dans le secteur éducatif gabonais (PISE - Gabon Education Sector Investment Project), which has so far led to the construction and rehabilitation of 15 local schools in the greater Libreville area. It has also been instrumental in drafting a national policy on school maintenance and another on in-service teacher training, training for more than 300 teaching staff and production of the first statistical reports on education.

On the health front, the Projet d'appui au secteur de la santé (PASS 1 and 2 - Health Sector Support Project) has allowed for 19 health facilities to be upgraded over 15 years, focusing on provinces with the weakest health indicators. These projects have also helped to update medical and managerial practices in line with recognized standards, train more than 400 healthcare workers, design a healthcare human resources management application as well as produce 14 strategic and operational public health documents.

Protect biodiversity

elephant biodiversity Gabon

Protect biodiversity

Gabon has an 89% forest cove, with extraordinarily rich biodiversity: It is home to more than half of the continent's forest elephant populations. Its mangroves are breeding grounds for numerous species of birds, fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

Historically, AFD has been active in Gabon to safeguard this heritage through the €60 million Debt Conversion Agreement signed in 2008. Funded projects have fostered forest management, particularly certified forest management, and the timber industry. They have also bolstered Gabon's conservation policy by supporting human-elephant conflict management and knowledge of natural resources in Libreville's nearby parks.

This effort is ongoing, with the aim of striking a balance between economic development, preservation of natural resources and respect for the rights of communities. With financial support from the Central Africa Forest Initiative (CAFI), AFD is providing technical support for the development of a national land use plan and a national forest and natural resources observatory system. These national mechanisms will help curb deforestation and more effectively regulate the expansion of key economic sectors (agriculture, forestry, mining, oil, infrastructure). 

Develop infrastructure and boost the private sector

train woman Gabon

Develop infrastructure and boost the private sector

Development also entails production and circulation of resources. Over the years, AFD has supported several road infrastructure projects ( including the Ndjolé-Médoumane highway and the Libreville-Owendo bridge) and is now focusing on rail infrastructure.

Spotlight on the Transgabonais Upgrade Programme: the Transgabonais is an essential rail infrastructure for moving Gabon's resources and opening up the countryside, particularly in the country's third-largest catchment area (Franceville - Moanda - Mounana). The sheer scale of upgrading required calls for a long-term partnership with the AFD Group, which is vital to the success of this operation.

Proparco, AFD Group's private sector subsidiary, is also active in Gabon through flagship projects. In addition to financing SETRAG, Proparco provided corporate financing for the CIMAF cement plant. Indeed, Proparco's added value lies in its ability to offer loans beyond seven years.

AFD has also contributed €270 million in budget support between 2017 and 2022 to sustain reforms undertaken by the Gabonese government under IMF programmes.

Support the civil society

school Gabon students

Support the civil society

In furtherance of sustainable development objectives, AFD also supports projects identified through calls for projects targeting NGOs, such as:

  1. Actions de Solidarité Internationale, Reflet, Cœur de femmes and Femme Lève-toi, working on social outreach and socio-professional integration of vulnerable young girls.
  2. NADA and NGUDU DIMBU, both actively engaged in conservation, are supported by the Small Initiatives Program, sponsored by FFEM (French Facility for Global Environment) and implemented by IUCN.
  3. The partnership with WWF Gabon helps the country to mainstream biodiversity issues.

Furthermore, more than 200 people, some of whom have gone on to senior positions, have received training from the AFD training center, Campus AFD, formerly known as CEFEB.

681 million
spent since 2012
served with 243 classrooms built and 74 refurbished since 2021
people served via eight refurbished departmental hospitals

Gabon, a Central African country in the Congo Basin, is renowned for its vast forest and natural resources, arable land and unique biodiversity. With a population of 2.2 million, abundant mineral and oil reserves as well as one of the highest per capita GDPs in sub-Saharan Africa, the country stands as the region's second-largest economic powerhouse.

Yet despite these clear assets, Gabon still faces daunting challenges in building an inclusive future for its people. Its undiversified and overwhelmingly oil-dependent economic growth model poses a range of weaknesses. These challenges are reflected in the fact that a third of the population lives below the poverty line, while infrastructure and transport, social services such as health and education, and professional integration are lagging far behind.

In response to these challenges, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is supporting the Gabonese government and civil society in pressing ahead with reforms. Through a mix of mechanisms such as the Debt Conversion Agreement (DCA), grants and loans, AFD Group harnesses its expertise to support Gabon's development. Its subsidiaries, Proparco focused on the private sector, and Expertise France focused on international technical cooperation, actively contribute to designing and implementing diversified, sustainable projects aimed at reducing inequalities and developing human capital.

The cooperation between Gabon and AFD has yielded numerous valuable achievements. In the education and healthcare sectors, the PISE project has already facilitated the school enrollment of 18,000 children, while the PASS I and II projects have contributed to the refurbishment of 19 health centers in the country's hinterlands. Similarly, progress has also been made in the field of transport infrastructure, with the Transgabonais upgrade programme. With regard to sustainable natural resource management, the Debt Conversion Agreement enables AFD to continue lending its support to projects in line with Gabon's national priorities for sustainable development of forest ecosystems.

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