Official documents state that Ali Bongo, the current president of Gabon, was born in 1959 in Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea to Omar Bongo Ondimba and Josephine Kama. Bongo’s father was the President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009.
Bongo trained as a lawyer, but quickly found his way into politics after serving in his father’s government. After a series of mid-level positions within his father’s PDG party, Bongo was appointed as the minister of foreign affairs and cooperation. He later resigned his post and contested and won a seat in the National Assembly. In 2008, his father appointed him vice president. A year later, his father died, allowing Bongo to step in as president, which he did despite controversies.
In the years following his election as president, Bongo has been widely rumored to be adopted and his nationality has become a subject of heated debate. It is alleged that Bongo is from another country with many people in Gabon believing that before being adopted, he was a little boy orphaned in the carnage of the Nigerian civil war.
Sadly, Bongo’s time in office has been characterized with little or no real developmental progress and a significant number of citizens in the oil-rich country continue to live below the poverty line.