Gabon is an upper-middle income country with a strong economic growth in the past decade. It is sparsely populated (2 million inhabitants) and forests cover 85% of its territory.
Despite its resources and the relatively high GDP, Gabon still suffers from high infant mortality, lack of basic sanitation services and high HIV prevalence. In addition, the 'Ease of Doing Business Index' ranks Gabon 169th out of 190 countries.
The Plan ‘Emerging Gabon 2025’ aims at an efficient public administration, basic infrastructures, a fair judicial system, poverty and inequality reduction and the diversification of the economy. The well-equipped 'Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux' manages a wide network of protected areas.
The basic document for programming is the Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan 2025. This plan aims to respond to the challenges Gabon faces such as reducing its dependence on oil exports, diversification of its economy, reduction of its dependence on imports, improvement of the business environment, the strengthening of regional trade integration, poverty reduction and exploitation sustainability of its natural resources. The actions presented are implemented through a common “Team Europe” approach, which will facilitate the achievement of Gabon’s objective of sustainable emergence in direct line with its strategic plan Emerging Gabon 2025 and EU priorities.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) is based on the following priority areas:
This priority applies the “transition” toward a green future. It combines both actions for the protection of biodiversity on sites of "high ecological value” while generating benefits for the populations, within the framework of the development of the desired territory. The productive sectors of agriculture, fishing, and forestry are particularly highlighted while making sure that the integration of sustainable environmental and climatic conditions is respected. The rational and sustainable use of resources in energy and water is supported, by offering suitable and effective alternatives.
Sustainable growth and green jobs
The official unemployment rate remains high in Gabon, at around 20%, partly due to the dependence of the economy on the oil sector which generates few jobs, as well as rigidities of the labour regulations and skills mismatch. The figures are particularly alarming for women. For a real transformation towards a green economy with decent jobs, it is necessary to remove the current blockages by promoting growth that is truly sustainable, neutral for the climate, circular, and green, resulting in a reduction of social and economic inequalities.
Economic diversification must go hand in hand with better governance, democratic strength, and the rule of law. The growth of the sectors targeted by European support must allow an increased mobilization of taxes and revenues for the State budget. This is only possible through greater transparency and accountability for Gabonese citizens.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Gabon for 2021-2024 amounts to €11 million.
Priority area 1: ‘’Green Transition’’ supports and promotes the green economy in territories with high ecological value while facilitating the financing of structuring projects to adapt to changing climate.
Priority area 2: ‘’Sustainablegrowth and green jobs’’ revises the policy framework to maximize the creation of green jobs while making the business environment conducive to the creation of green jobs and aligning the education system with the needs of the green economy.
Priority area 3: ‘’Governance’’ is strengthening the governance framework related to the green economy and supporting National Democratic Governance. The economic diversification supported by this indicative program should enable the mobilization of increased taxes and revenues for the state budget. To do this, it must have a so-called "climate-smart" budget, particularly with a view towards the development of the Enhanced Transparency Framework expected by 2024 according to the Paris Agreement.