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Time change for President of Gabon's address at W&M

External Reference/Copyright
Issue date: 
September 25, 2010
Publisher Name: 
William & Mary
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Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of the African nation of Gabon, will deliver a speech at the College of William & Mary on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Ondimba’s speech, which will be given at the Great Hall of the Sir Christopher Wren Building and followed by a question-and-answer session, is open to the public. It will focus on “Sustainable Africa.” In it, Ondimba is expected to outline how Africa, led by Gabon’s example, can promote ecological and politically sustainable institutions.

Ondimba’s day will include a tour of the College, the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States dating back to 1693, lunch, and a reception with students, faculty and guests. Ondimba has been president of Gabon since being elected in September 2009. His father, El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, ruled the nation from 1967 until his death in June 2009.

Gabon, located in west central Africa, covers a land area of nearly 270,000 kilometers and boasts a population of approximately 1.5 million. Eighty percent of the country is made up of natural rainforests, and the government there has been devoted to a decade-long initiative called “Green Gabon.”

The program includes cancellation of some logging concessions that had been granted in pristine forest areas, a total ban on log exports, and prohibiting oil companies from “flaring,” or burning off gas emissions.

In response to some of these policies, Gabon has been selected by the World Bank to receive funds for conserving its tropical forests.

“Avoiding deforestation in my country and the wider Congo Basin region, which is the largest carbon sink in the world after the Amazon, provides one of the most effective means available to minimize carbon emissions and combat climate change,” Ondimba wrote last March in an op-ed piece that appeared in The Guardian newspaper.


Extpub | by Dr. Radut