Libreville – Gabonese President Ali Bongo, has pledged to give his share of his father’s inheritance to charity.
He disclosed this during a broadcast on Monday night in Libreville, to mark the 55th anniversary of independence from France.
His father Omar Bongo Ondimba, the late president of Gabon came to power in 1967, with French support and died June 8, 2009, in a Spanish hospital at the age of 73.
Bongo said the decision was in honour of his father, adding that his family was also handing over properties including a villa in the capital and two hotels in Paris to the state.
“All the revenues from my share of the inheritance will go to a foundation for youth and education because everyone knows and I say it again that the youth were sacred in the eyes of President Omar Bongo Ondimba.
“The two hotels in the 7th and 8th arrondissements of central Paris will also be handed over to the state for “cultural and diplomatic use,” he said.
Bongo added that the Omar Bongo’s heirs had together agreed to hand over to the Gabonese state, a villa in Libreville that would house a university.
Report said the Bongo family’s wealth was believed to include millions of dollars held in foreign bank accounts, real estate and stakes in Gabon’s main industries.
Gabon maintained excellent relations with France during Omar Bongo’s four decade rule under a system known as “Francafrique”, whereby France gave political and military support to leaders of its former African colonies in exchange for business favours.
The relationship has since cooled amid French investigations into ill-gotten gains that have focused on Gabon, Congo Republic and Equatorial Guinea. (Reuters/NAN)