The eldest son of Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, has been handed a political appointment at the presidency according to reports.
He was appointed “coordinator of presidential affairs” on Thursday with the main mandate “to assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State.”
The AFP news agency reports that the official announcement was made by the spokesman of the government, Edgard Anicet Mboumbou Miyakou, at the end of a cabinet meeting.
The position of general coordinator of presidential affairs, which Noureddin Bongo, now holds was specially created at the end of the cabinet meeting.
Its mission according to the government is to: “assist the President of the Republic in the conduct of all affairs of the State and ensures the strict application of decisions.”
Noureddin Bongo will therefore be a right hand man to his father Ali Bongo, who came to power in 2009 winning his first seven-year term after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who led the country for 42 years. He won a second-term in contested polls of 2016.
The mineral rich Central African country is currently undergoing a vast anti-corruption operation that has led to arrest of high-profile ex government officials including former leader of cabinet of the presidency, Brice Laccruche Alihanga.
Eldest daughter discloses presidential ambition in 2016
Three years ago, Malika Bongo Ondimba Dossou, the eldest daughter of Ali Bongo wrote in a Facebook post that she had presidential ambitions.
“I am mayor for two years now and I do not want to stop because I have huge ambitions for Gabon. Why not a woman President of the Republic of Gabon in 2022?’‘ she asked rhetorically. Malika, already into local politics was at the time mayor of the town of Akanda.
Political opponents have routinely accused the Bongo family of wanting to turn the presidency into an ‘inheritance.’
Malika was educated in the United States, and also in France, where she studied international relations at the University of Sorbonne in Paris. She has worked with UNESCO and the UN in Geneva before returning to Gabon in 2009. She is married to Steve Dossou.