Technical & Professional Educationfor a Sustainable Development in Gabon Manuel Dias da Graça Ubifrance
Mission for a Sustainable Development - Focus on training young professionals for entry and mid-level positions in new promising industries.- Create educational opportunities in rural areas with an emphasis on growing the number of female professional students.- Set Public/Private ventures for new professional educational system.- Establish tax incentives for companies that sponsor human capital- Launch a Pro-poor initiative
Where is Gabon?- Land area: 267 667 km²- Capital: Libreville- Population: 1 520 000
FOCUSDespite its economic resources, a third of the population lives below thenational poverty line ($71/month).- Literacy rate: 84% - School enrolment rate: 72.4%- Median age: 18.6- 0-14 years of age represent 36% of population- Estimated workforce: 550,000- 21% Unemployment- 40% workforce under 25 is unemployed- Minimum wage is $180.00/month- 3.9% of country GDP invested in Education
StrategiesReduce poverty by promoting sustainable economic and human development.Gabon’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) document, 2006.Priority sectors are:Infrastructure and public facilities: Sanitation and public health, as well as road maintenance;Education and training:Major concerns are basic education and technical education / vocational training.The non-focal sector includes:Development and sustainable management of renewable natural resources:Management of national parks and development of communal tourism; andStrengthening of private and public sector capacity,
- Projects concerning the satisfactory linkage of the education system to newtechnologies and the promotion of the training-job- Acquisition of XO laptops for the best pupils, students & researchers;- Project to create a "Green city of Education and Knowledge", within the framework of public/private partnerships.- Set up a fund for tuition fees, boost the number of teachers of science subjects and build reception facilities.
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OFStrengths of Gabon- Business climate benefited from active reform programs and a regional economic boom.- The country enjoys the political and financial support of Western countries.Weaknesses of Gabon & Potential negative socio-economic outcomes- The interest on public debt and the cost of subsidies weighs on public finances;- The tourism sector, whose revenues are fundamental to economic growth, remains quasi inexistent;- Necessary global restructuration of the technical educational Gabonese system;- Government needs to look into the efficiency of its management and transparency practices.
Gabon is affiliated to the Organization for Business Law Harmonization in Africa(OHADA). Legislation allows foreign investors to choose freely from a wide selection oflegal business structures, such as a private limited liability company or public limitedliability company.Gabonese are very communal. When people are interested in something, they stare at it. Itis not rude to call something what it is, to identify someone by his or her race, or to asksomeone for something that is wanted. Foreigners are often offended by this. They mayfeel personally invaded by having someone stand in their space, insulted at being calledwhite, and put off by people who ask them for their watch and shoes. None of these thingsare meant in a negative way, however, as they simply reflect the up-front nature of theGabonese.