The Gabonese issue of Emmanuel Macron's tour in Central Africa

Gabonese President Ali Bongo, welcomed by his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, in Paris on November 12, 2021. The latter is going to Gabon on March 1, 2023. AFP - LUDOVIC MARIN

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1 min

French President Emmanuel Macron begins a four-day tour of Central Africa this Wednesday, March 1.

On the program, four countries: Gabon first, where it is expected for a summit on the protection of the equatorial forest, the One Forest Summit.

Then, he will stop in Angola, in Congo-Brazzaville before ending his tour in the DRC.

His 18th trip to the continent therefore begins in Libreville, where Emmanuel Macron wants to reinvigorate the relationship between the two countries.


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With our special correspondent in Libreville,

Paulina Zidi

It has been 13 years since a French president made a trip to Gabon.

The last was

Nicolas Sarkozy

, in February 2010. Meanwhile, the disputed re-election of President

Ali Bongo

and the

electoral crisis of 2016

have passed through this and strained relations between the two countries.

Then there was the health crisis, and the quarrel continued before a start of rapprochement from 2021.

This trip by Emmanuel Macron had, according to a source close to the Élysée, become essential.

It had already been in the works for several months, and it was in the summer of 2022 that the idea of ​​coupling it to the

One Forest Summit

and focusing it on the protection of the forest was considered.

But this official visit nevertheless falls in the middle of an election year in Gabon, with a

presidential election scheduled for next summer


A calendar that made civil society and the opposition jump.

He came to launch his friend's campaign

 ," said environmentalist Marc Ona.


Indeed, this is not the best time

 ”, recognizes a French diplomat.

But the latter insists: the purpose of this visit is to talk about the environment and biodiversity.


Proof that the relationship between the two countries has changed, we are working on a new subject in tune with the times

 ,” he adds.


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  • Gabon

  • France

  • Emmanuel Macron

  • Ali Bongo Ondimba

  • Nicolas Sarkozy