Gabon in the Commonwealth: «We’ve reached a turning point. 62 years after its Independence, our country is about to start a new and glorious chapter of its History» (President Ali Bongo Ondimba)

Ali Bongo Ondimba adressed the nation on TV tonight, 28 June 2022 © DR/Impression écran

72 hours after Gabon became a member of the Commonwealth, the gabonese head of state adressed the nation on TV. A 5 minutes speech as concise as tonic. You’ll find it below (full version).  

People of Gabon,
My dear compatriots,
« We made it ! »

This expression, in English language, means: « We succeeded! »

On June 25, 2022, Gabon became a member of the Commonwealth, a strong family of 56 countries bringing together 2.5 billion people. This day is a historical one.

62 years after its Independence, our country is about to start, a new and glorious chapter of its History.

The idea of having Gabon join the Commonwealth, I considered it for a long time before. I made my decision. It is a decision that I have always taken on. Against all odds. And only God knows if we have not surrounded obstacles.

Today I would like to thank all the members of this great family, that is the Commonwealth, who have supported us and have enabled the integration of our country within this leading organization.

But foremost, this membership would not have been possible without the efforts of all. Institutions, administrations, associations and you, citizens of our great country.

Today, it is Gabon, all of us in Gabon, who achieved victory. And that is what History will recall.

My dear compatriots,

Gabon’s membership to the Commonwealth is a recognition. A Recognition that shows that our country, whatsoever gossip being said, here and there, is a country that is progressing. Progressing in the right direction. A country stronger than ever on the economic level. More equal on the social level. More open on the societal level.

If Gabon had not been « eligible », as some have claimed, it would never have been admitted to this prestigious organization. However, our country largely meets the requirements. We are largely eligible. This membership in the Commonwealth is evidence to this.

Gabon’s membership to the Commonwealth is also, and above all, an opportunity. Economically, our country is better positioned to attract international investors in ever more diversified sectors.

English is the most spoken language in the world. It is the language of business. For us Gabonese people, joining the Commonwealth means in the long run more jobs created, more wealth distributed.

On the diplomatic level, Commonwealth membership enables our country to pursue its policy of influence on the international level and diversification of partnerships. Gabon is a sovereign country. Its institutions must be respected. I, as the President of our country, I will not tolerate anybody to do otherwise.

Commonwealth membership is likely to consolidate our position, already strong, on the international scale. It will enable us to be even more respected. And there is reason for it. Gabon is a member of the United Nations Security Council for two years. As regards the
climate, the « subject of the century », Gabon is a leading actor.

Commonwealth membership is also beneficial from a cultural prospective. Tomorrow, our students will have easier access to the best universities, many of which are English-speaking. They will have access to the most innovative knowledge many of which are in English.

If they also speak English, they will see their opportunities increased tenfold in Gabon, as
everywhere else in the world.

My dear compatriots,

Today we have reached a turning point. A historical turning point. As important as the one that occurred in 1960.

For Gabon, becoming a member of the Commonwealth is the promise of a prolific present. But also, and above all, in the era of globalisation, the guarantee of a better future.

Tomorrow will be quite different from today.

In this expectation, let us be proud of ourselves!

Thank you.