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Gabon is a country rich in natural resources, with important reserves in oil, wood, iron ore and manganese. The country has experienced positive economic developments during recent years and is now an upper-middle income country characterized by domestic peace and political and macroeconomic stability. Despite its good economic assessment, one third of the population remains poor.
The Country Strategy Paper for Gabon (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for cooperation between the European Commission (EC) and Gabon under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). EC assistance concentrates mainly on basic infrastructure, especially roads (regular road maintenance and improving road networks) and urban reconstruction (improving health and sanitation in urban areas) as well as education and training. The aim is to improve governance in education, provide better primary school teaching (through teacher training and improving teachers' status) and better technical and vocational instruction.
Additional aid will be granted for action on sustainable exploitation and management of renewable natural resources and capacity building in the public and private sectors.
The multi-annual indicative programme for Gabon under the 10th EDF allocates €50.2 million to address these priorities.
Cross-cutting issues like good governance, gender, the environment and individual rights are integrated into all EC assistance in Gabon.
Since development cooperation with the EU started, Gabon has received some €193m in total, mainly for rural and agricultural development, support for small businesses, health and education as well as village water supplies.
The Country Strategy Paper for Gabon (2002-2007) gave priority to transport and education under 9th EDF funding. In the transport sector, a fund was set up to ensure reliable financing and management for road maintenance. In the education sector, a pilot programme was launched to help dropouts enter the labour market, chiefly by providing short skills-oriented training courses.
For further details on projects and programmes in Gabon financed by the European Development Fund and the general budget of the EU, please visit the project's section of the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Gabon.
Other sources of information
More information on EU relations with Gabon is available on the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Gabon, which is responsible for co-operation activities in the country.