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Another $25 million for Bongo says Wolfy

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  • bobutne
    Gabon: World Bank Supports Local Infrastructure Development in Gabon Press Release - World Bank The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 14, 2006
      Gabon: World Bank Supports Local Infrastructure Development in Gabon

      Press Release - World Bank

      The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an
      International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of
      US$25 million to assist the Government of Gabon in the development of
      local infrastructure.

      The Local Infrastructure Development project aims to increase access
      of the population living in low-income settlements to basic services
      and to sustain access of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to civil
      works and construction contracts within the public sector. The
      project will help improve the management of public resources for
      better living conditions in the targeted neighborhoods and strengthen
      the private sector in Gabon.

      The project is part of a National Public Investment Program for the
      Promotion of Entrepreneurship and Employment, promoting within the
      public sector, small labor-intensive infrastructure projects that
      have a strong impact on the living conditions of the poor and that
      help generate employment in the construction industry.

      "This program is likely to optimize the quality of public investment
      in infrastructure and its potential effects on the development of
      local small and medium enterprises. It is also likely to bear an
      effect on poverty reduction," said Chantal Reliquet, the World Bank
      Task Team Leader for the project.

      Thanks to infrastructure to be constructed as a result of the
      project, a greater group of the Gabonese population is expected to
      benefit from all-year access to transport and vehicle services, gain
      access to improved sanitary conditions, lower the impact of
      environmental degradation linked to uncollected solid waste and
      suffer fewer cases of floods resulting from poor drainage in the
      targeted neighborhoods.

      "The amount of public works contracted through TIPPEE methods will
      increase as well as the number of small and medium enterprises
      completing works on time, and the number of technical firms created
      and strengthened," Reliquet added.

      This project supports Gabon's economic diversification and poverty
      reduction agenda, of which improved quality and quantity of public
      investment in urban infrastructure and its maximum impact on both the
      local private sector and the living conditions of the poor are key to
      the country. It is line with the two pillars of the Country
      Assistance Strategy for Gabon discussed by the Bank's Board of
      Executive Directors in May 2005: (i) strengthening the management of
      public resources, both natural and financial, for improved social
      outcomes; and (ii) improving the investment climate to foster
      sustainable, private sector-led growth.

      The Local Infrastructure Development project will include five
      components: (i) community-based infrastructure upgrading low-income
      settlements will bring noticeable improvement to the living
      conditions of population of the targeted settlements; (ii) capacity
      building will provide training and technical assistance for officials
      from the municipalities, the line ministries and the beneficiary
      communities; (iii) development of local SMEs in the construction
      industry aims to support the development of local SMEs through better
      management of public procurement and improved financial conditions
      for their development; (iv) support to the reform of public
      infrastructure management will strengthen Gabon's administrative and
      technical capacities in carrying out transparent and efficient
      procurement of public works; and (v) support to HIV/AIDS prevention
      programs will seek to coordinate with existing and upcoming programs
      to support the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in the cities
      targeted by the project.
    • bobutne
      LIBREVILLE, 03/14 - The non-governmental organization (NGO) in Gabon on Monday voiced opposition to the government`s plan to build a new airport near a
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 14, 2006
        LIBREVILLE, 03/14 - The non-governmental organization (NGO) in Gabon
        on Monday voiced opposition to the government`s plan to build a new
        airport near a national park north of Libreville.

        In a statement, the NGO warned that the planned Malibe 2 airport
        would cause an environmental disaster as it is situated in an
        ecosystem where forests, bird colonies and sea turtles laying eggs in
        the mangroves are concentrated.

        "We are not opposed to the economic development of our country.

        But we can afford no risks Gabon takes to destroy the Akanda park the
        country itself has created," Marc Ona, president of the Brainforest
        group, told a press conference in Libreville.

        The NGO proposed that the government build the new airport between
        Ntoum and Libreville some distance away south of the capital.

        The project was initiated by Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba
        during his recent visit to France in a bid to relieve the west
        African country`s traffic pressure at the Libreville airport.

        France has agreed in principle to build the new airport, but no date
        has been set for the official launch of the project.

      • bobutne
        http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile- english&y=2006&m=March&x=20060313172852IHecuoR0.7537348&t=livefeeds/wf -latest.html ....OUTREACH
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 14, 2006


          Another proponent of the hands-on grassroots approach to development
          is U.S. Ambassador to Gabon R. Barrie Walkley, a former Peace Corps
          Volunteer in Somalia from 1967 to 1969, who later joined the Foreign

          In Gabon, Walkley oversees an innovative self-help program for
          pygmies living in the remote rain forest cluster of villages called
          Imbong. According to an embassy document, in 2005 the Ambassadors
          Special Self-help Fund "provided the Pygmies of Imbong the
          opportunity to improve their lives by increasing their agricultural

          Recently, Walkley and his staff members traveled to the provincial
          capital of Makokou and then an additional 180 kilometers for four
          hours on a dirt road to Imbong to check on the project. There, the
          team finalized the delivery of machetes, axes and cooking pots to
          facilitate large-scale manioc cultivation and production.

          According to the embassy, "the Pygmies have already put donated
          material to use and are now selling or exchanging excess production
          in neighboring villages."


          Why didn't we think of that earlier? No need for Peace Corps
          Volunteers when we can just send then machetes, axes and pots made in
        • bobutne
          By Jason Chudy, Stars and Stripes, European edition, Sunday, March 19, 2006 Sailors from the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land have been working to build
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 19, 2006
            By Jason Chudy, Stars and Stripes, European edition, Sunday, March
            19, 2006

            Sailors from the submarine tender USS Emory S. Land have been working
            to build better relationships in Gabon one wrench turn at a time.
            Dozens of sailors from the ship's 1,400-member crew worked with the
            Gabonese navy and made repairs on two of its ships during a visit to
            the West African country's Port Gentil.

            The visit, which ended Friday, was the second stop on the Land's
            current Gulf of Guinea deployment. The deployment is the ship's
            second to the region in two years. "These are not liberty port
            calls," said Capt. Michael D. Budney, commander of the ship based in
            La Maddalena, Italy. "These are working ports."

            The ship is in the region as part of the U.S. European Command's bid
            to strengthen everything from security in the area to relationships
            between the U.S. and nations around the Gulf of Guinea, which has
            large oil reserves.

            But Land's sailors have been more focused on the basics,
            strengthening those relationships at the lowest level, between
            sailors and their host-nation counterparts. "They think we're the
            greatest thing since sliced bread," Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael
            Dayton of the ship's repair department said of the Gabonese.

            Dayton and others from the ship's 400-sailor-strong department worked
            on engineering equipment in two Gabonese Navy corvettes, which are
            smaller than a U.S. frigate. As a submarine tender with a large
            repair department, Land's crew is able to work on equipment, provide
            necessary supplies and make repairs that would take the Gabonese
            sailors a long time, Dayton said. "Simple repairs to valves would
            take months for them to get supplies," he said. Even when the
            Gabonese do have supplies, they frequently don't have the technical
            manuals to allow them to make the repairs.

            "This is where all of the training we go through comes into play,"
            Dayton said, explaining that the U.S. sailors' hands-on repair
            knowledge overcame some problems that had the Gabonese stymied.

            Dayton added that the Gabonese paid close attention to the work the
            sailors have done. One Land sailor even created a Powerpoint
            presentation for the Gabonese on trouble-shooting pumps, Dayton
            said. "If we give them the supplies to fix it, they'll do it," he
            said. "They're more than eager to jump in and help out. They want to
            know how we do it."

            Lt. Paul Stolzman, the Land's training officer, said the Gabonese
            sailors want training on how to better themselves and their small
            Navy. "They want to learn, they want to know," he said.

            Land crew members taught classes on about a dozen topics, from
            tropical medicine to fiberglass repair, Stolzman said. He added that
            the Gabonese were so eager for training that they asked for extra
            courses. "The only thing that's limiting us is the amount of
            translators we have," he said. Much of the training was conducted on
            site, he said. "The more hands-on it is, the more things they learn,"
            he said. "We don't want `death by Powerpoint.' "

            Land left for this year's Gulf of Guinea deployment in late February.
            Earlier this month, it stopped in the nation of Sao Tome and Principe.

            Nice to know we are training Gabonese on "how to better themselves"
            and that US Navy personnel are the "greatest thing since sliced
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