Youth and early political career
Born into a Fang family near Libreville, Aubame lost his father at eight years of age and his mother at eleven. Abbé Jean Obame, stepbrother of Léon M'ba, looked after the orphaned Aubame and arranged for schooling at several Roman Catholic missions. After he graduated, Aubame became a schoolteacher.
M'ba helped get him a job in customs on 24 March 1931. First appointed to Libreville from 1931 to 1935, he was transferred to Bangui in 1935 and then to Brazzaville in 1936, where he co-founded a branch of the
Mutuelle Gabonaise with a brother of politician Louis Bigmann. He was also a member of the Association des fonctionnaires, an organization which was dominated by two other soon-to-be politicians:
René-Paul Sousatte and Jean Rémy Ayouné.
Following the speech given by Charles de Gaulle on the Appeal of 18 June 1940, Aubame sided with the Free French, and in November was sent by Libreville authorities to rally Fangs for the cause. In February 1942, Aubame met colonial administrator Félix Éboué and quickly became his protégé. He served as an informant for Éboué on African affairs. Aubame's reward was to be one of several Africans promoted on 23 February 1943 into the European section of the civil service, and on 1 January 1944 Éboué appointed him president of the municipal commission for the Poto-Poto section of Brazzaville.
Aubame participated in the 1944 Brazzaville Conference and served in this post until 10 November 1946. After Éboué's sudden death in March 1944, Aubame worked as an adviser to Governor-General André Bayardelle and his secretary André Soucadoux. They encouraged Aubame to run for office, and he returned to Gabon to campaign with the support of both the administration and the missionaries.