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In this issue

Under President Ali Bongo, the country is rushing to modernise

Bid to transform an oil republic

Under President Ali Bongo, the country is rushing to modernise, report John Reed and Peggy Hollinger

oil rig

Oil industry: Offshore deposits are big hope to fuel development

Onshore production has peaked and new reserves are needed, says Peggy Hollinger

Economy: Better wealth distribution at the heart of state policy

John Reed reports on the lavish spending aimed at diversification

Special economic zone: Enticements to encourage locally added value

John Reed looks at efforts to attract foreign investment that creates more jobs

Infrastructure: Projects all in hands of Bechtel

The US engineering group has been put in charge, says John Reed

Tourism: Forests and wildlife untouched by war

John Reed reports on ambitions to make the most of pristine ecosystems and natural spectacles

Interview: Ali Bongo Ondimba

William Wallis talks to a president eager to break with the past

Politics: President begins to win grudging respect

Gabon has been a multi-party democracy since 1991, but the political party founded by Omar Bongo remains dominant, writes Peggy Hollinger

Foreign relations: Life becomes more competitive for the French

Peggy Hollinger says France’s influence is being diluted as Gabon’s president seeks new money and jobs

Youth: School system could do better

Peggy Hollinger reports on the frustrations facing young people

Mining: Enthusiasm tempered by reality

Investors fret about a new legal framework, writes Peggy Hollinger

Agriculture and forestry: Oil sector crowds out farming

The country pitches itself as a safe haven for investment in a difficult neighbourhood, says John Reed