Gabon closes in on US$250 million World Bank partnership

Libreville_GabonGabon’s economy has been strongly reliant on oil in recent decades. (Image source: René-Pierre Favre)The World Bank has placed a new US$250 million four-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Gabon under consideration

The CPS, which is currently being deliberated by the bank’s executive board members, would run until 2016 and would focus on enabling the West African country to adopt transformational changes and reforms, while boosting job creation and fuelling long-term economic growth.

The funds would target the diversification of Gabon’s largely oil-dependent economy, with oil responsible for 80 per cent of the country’s exports.

“The support that has been discussed is in line with the World Bank’s Strategy for Africa, which pays special attention to the urgent need for job creation, good governance, and a high performing public sector,” said World Bank country manager for Gabon Zouera Youssoufou.

“It also integrates and is inspired by the priorities laid out in Gabon’s strategic development programme.”

If approved the funds would focus on critical reforms in public financial management and key economic sectors, with a specific focus on six areas, which include governance, budget management, debt, the investment climate, the country’s natural resources, and health care.

Resource-rich Gabon is the fifth-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa and is home to rich deposits of iron ore and magnesium.

The World Bank has funded more than 20 projects in Gabon since the country became a member in 1963.

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