“The president has told his government and the Gabonese people that his main challenge for [this year] was to ensure the eradication of poverty, to ensure fewer inequalities and ensure that all Gabonese should be above the poverty standards. [It] is already a first challenge that has been met,” United Nations resident coordinator and UNDP president Marie Evelyne Petrus-Barry told CNBC Africa.
“The main problems that Gabon will be facing to ensure that this becomes a reality are mostly a governance challenge. Gabon will have to work on issues related to good governance and issues of corruption.”
Petrus-Barry added that Gabon will also have to make sure that the country is inclusive in addressing the issues faced by its people.
Inclusivity includes providing livelihoods for the most vulnerable of the Gabonese society, the youth, and especially ensuring that jobs are created for them.
President Ali Bongo Ondimba had additionally announced a new roadmap of the ministerial team for the adoption of a supplementary budget for the war against poverty.
“I’m also talking about the big discrepancy between the rich and the poor. More than 60 per cent of the people living in Gabonese cities live in very difficult conditions of sanitation [and] do not have access to basic social services,” Petrus-Barry explained.
“Although a lot of efforts have been made in terms of social protection, a lot needs to be done to ensure that [the Gabonese] have access to health services [and] to ensure that despite the fact that they do have access to educational services, the quality of education has to be improved.”
She additionally emphasised the importance of those living with HIV being provided with access to the necessary treatment and that the medicine free of charge.
“One of the problems is really the discrimination and the way these people are perceived that prevents some of them [from] reaching the centres where they can get these treatments. Most of the challenges are related to governance and to social protection,” said Petrus-Barry.