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World Bank to Provide Gabon with Technical Assistance on Public Expenditures, Economic Diversification, and Mining

February 6, 2012

LIBREVILLE, February 6, 2012 – The World Bank and the Gabonese Republic on January 30, 2012 signed a US$2 million technical assistance agreement that will help the Central African nation improve management of public expenditure and identify potential sources of growth in order to devote additional resources to the Government’s ambitious development agenda.

The agreement, which was signed in Libreville, Gabon’s capital, covers four areas:

  1. Public expenditure management through more efficient utilization of public resources, including public debt management and improvement of the taxation system ;
  2. Economic diversification through the identification of new sources of growth, in particular in natural resources, financial services, information and communication technologies, and tourism;
  3. Extractive industries: in particular the establishment of a mining map; further development of the natural gas industry, with reduction of gas flaring; and
  4. Transport sector advisory services.

"With a focus on governance and public sector capacity, this agreement is a practical implementation of the World Bank’s new strategy for Africa, which puts emphasis on working with governments to improve public finances so as to deliver much needed services to the people,” said Zouera Youssoufou, World Bank Country Manager for Gabon. “Knowledge is a critical component for a middle income country like Gabon which seeks to reach new heights. We intend to be with them all the way.”

The agreement, which takes effect immediately, is the result of a long standing partnership that falls in line with the Government of Gabon’s three-pillar development strategy which aims to transform the country into an emerging economy by 2025. In order to achieve this goal, the Government has decided to increase the budget allocated to public investment in the years 2010-2016.

“This service agreement with the World Bank will help us confidently tackle the reforms necessary to diversify and energize our economy,” said Magloire Ngambia, Gabon’s Minister of the Economy, Trade, Industry and Tourism.

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