Omar Bongo Ondimba

Picture of Omar Bongo Ondimba

Date of Birth: 12/30/1935

Age: 73

Place of birth: Levai

Nationality: Gabon


Gabonese politician, president of the country since 1967. Because the incumbent Ondimba takes office for the longest time, since Cuban President Fidel Castro removed from office.

The youngest of 12 children of their parents, Albert-Bernard Bongo was born on December 30, 1935 in Levan, a city in south-east Gabon, near the border with Congo. Bongo was the representative of a small ethnic group Bateko. In the future, Levi was renamed Bongovill, in recognition of the locals for the governor works.

Primary and secondary education Bongo was in Brazzaville, at the time the capital of French Equatorial Africa. The future president worked in the National Service of postal and telecommunications, before going into the army. On military service Bongo was promoted to lieutenant and then a first lieutenant of the Air Force.

When in 1960, Gabon became independent, Albert-Bernard Bongo began his political career, gradually getting higher positions in the cabinet of President Leon M`Ba. In the parliamentary elections of 1961 he supported the candidacy of Bongo Sandungo, deciding not to run independently. Sandungo won the election, and Bongo, who worked in 1962 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was appointed assistant director of the presidential office, and Director seven months later. In 1964, during the only coup attempt in Gabon`s history, M`Ba was kidnapped and Bongo was held in a military camp in Libreville, but two days later the order was restored.

September 24, 1965 Bongo was appointed presidential envoy and became in charge of defense and coordination. At that time, he served as Minister of Information and Tourism. November 12, 1966 M`Ba, whose health was deteriorating, appointed Bongo vice-president. In the presidential election, which took place March 19, 1967, M`Ba and his vice president were reelected, and Bongo became president December 2, 1967 after the death of M`Ba. At 31 years of age he became the fourth youngest president in the history of Africa.

In 1973, Bongo converted to Islam and took the name Omar Bongo. In 2003 he added to the name of last name Ondimba.

In the early 1990s Bongo in response to the wishes of the people allowed multiparty elections - after a 16-year period in the history of Gabon, when the country was a one-party state. In the elections of 1993 and 1998 supported the candidacy of Bongo 51.2 and 66.9 percent of the population respectively. In 2003 the constitution was amended in Gabon, which lifted restrictions on the number of presidential terms. January 19, 2006 Bongo has launched a new 7-year term.