Ali Bongo Ondimba

Ali Bongo Ondimba
Ali Bongo Ondimba, 2012.jpg
President of Gabon
Assumed office
16 October 2009
Prime MinisterPaul Biyoghé Mba
Raymond Ndong Sima
Daniel Ona Ondo
Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet
Julien Nkoghe Bekale
Vice PresidentPierre-Claver Maganga Moussavou
Preceded byRose Francine Rogombé (Acting)
Personal details
Alain Bernard Bongo

(1959-02-09) 9 February 1959 (age 60)
Brazzaville, French Equatorial Africa
Political partyPDG
Spouse(s)Sylvia Valentin
ResidencePresidential Palace
Libreville, Gabon
Alma materPantheon-Sorbonne University

Ali Bongo Ondimba (born Alain Bernard Bongo; 9 February 1959),[1] sometimes known as Ali Bongo, is a Gabonese politician who has been President of Gabon since October 2009.

Ali Bongo is the son of Omar Bongo, who was President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009. During his father's presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991 and represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999; subsequently he was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009. Following his father's death after 41 years in power, he was first elected in the August 2009 presidential election.[2] He was re-elected in August 2016, in elections marred by numerous irregularities, arrests, human rights violations and post-election violence.[3][4] Bongo is also President of the Gabonese Democratic Party.

Early life and career


Ali Bongo was born Alain Bernard Bongo in Brazzaville,[1] as the son of Albert-Bernard Bongo (later Omar Bongo Ondimba) and Josephine Kama (later Patience Dabany). His mother was 18 years old at the time of his birth. He was conceived 18 months before Albert-Bernard's marriage and there have been rumors of him being Bongo's adopted son,[5][unreliable source?] a claim that he dismisses.[6]

Education and music career

Bongo was educated at a private school in Neuilly, France, and then studied law at the Sorbonne and graduate for a Doctorate Degree at Wuhan University in China. .[7] In 1977, he released a funk album, A Brand New Man, produced by Charles Bobbit.[7]

Early political career

After graduating from his law course, he entered politics, joining the Gabonese Democratic Party (French: Parti Démocratique Gabonais, abbreviated PDG) in 1981; he was elected to the PDG Central Committee at the party's Third Extraordinary Congress in March 1983. Subsequently, he was his father's Personal Representative to the PDG and in that capacity he entered the PDG Political Bureau in 1984. He was then elected to the Political Bureau at an ordinary party congress in September 1986.[8]

Bongo held the post of High Personal Representative of the President of the Republic from 1987 to 1989.[1] In 1989, his father appointed him to the government as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation,[1][9] replacing Martin Bongo.[9] He was considered a reformist within the ruling PDG in the early 1990s.[6][10] In the 1990 parliamentary election (the first election after the introduction of multiparty politics), he was elected to the National Assembly as a PDG candidate in Haut-Ogooué Province.[1] After two years as Foreign Minister, a 1991 constitutional amendment setting a minimum age of 35 for ministers resulted in his departure from the government.[6]

Following his departure from the government, Bongo took up his seat as a Deputy in the National Assembly in 1991.[8] In February 1992,[11] he organized a visit by American pop singer Michael Jackson to Gabon.[12]

Bongo became President of the Higher Council of Islamic Affairs of Gabon (Conseil supérieur des affaires islamiques du Gabon, CSAIG) in 1996.[1] Prior to the December 1996 parliamentary election, a supporter of Defense Minister Idriss Ngari challenged Bongo for the PDG nomination to his parliamentary seat, but Bongo was successful in winning the nomination and retaining the seat. In surviving that challenge, he benefited from the assistance of his maternal uncle Jean-Boniface Assélé, one of his key political allies.[13] After over seven years as a Deputy,[8] Bongo was appointed to the government as Minister of National Defense on 25 January 1999.[14]

In the December 2001 parliamentary election, Bongo was elected to the National Assembly as a PDG candidate in Haut-Ogooué Province.[1] At the PDG's Eighth Ordinary Congress in July 2003, he was elected as a Vice-President of the PDG.[8] During the 2005 presidential election, he worked on his father's re-election campaign as Coordinator-General of Youth.[15] Following that election, he was promoted to the rank of Minister of State on 21 January 2006, while retaining the defense portfolio.[14]

Bongo was re-elected to the National Assembly in the December 2006 parliamentary election as a PDG candidate in Haut-Ogooué Province.[16] He retained his post as Minister of State for National Defense after that election, although he was subsequently reduced to the rank of ordinary Minister on 28 December 2007.[14][17] At the PDG's Ninth Ordinary Congress in September 2008, he was re-elected as a Vice-President of the PDG.[8]

Other Languages
asturianu: Ali Bongu
български: Али Бонго
català: Ali Bongo
Ελληνικά: Αλί Μπονγκό
español: Ali Bongo
فارسی: علی بونگو
français: Ali Bongo
Bahasa Indonesia: Ali Bongo Ondimba
עברית: עלי בונגו
Latina: Ali Bongo
Lëtzebuergesch: Ali Bongo
lingála: Ali Bongo
Bahasa Melayu: Ali Bongo Ondimba
Nederlands: Ali Bongo
português: Ali Bongo
Simple English: Ali Bongo Ondimba
српски / srpski: Али Бонго Ондимба
svenska: Ali Bongo
Tiếng Việt: Ali Bongo Ondimba