Ali Bongo Ondimba is a Gabonese politician who has been serving as the 3rd President of Gabon since 2009.
He was born Alain Bernard Bongo on February 9, 1959, in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.
His father’s name was Albert Bernard Bongo (later Omar Bongo Ondimba), the second President of Gabon who ruled for 42 years from 1967 until he died in 2009.
His mother was Josephine Kama (later Patience Dabany).
During his father’s presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991, represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999 and was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009.
After his father’s death, he won the 2009 Gabonese presidential election.
Ali Bongo is known for his conversion to Islam in 1973, which resulted in the family name changes.
He was also a musician before entering politics.
His presidency has been marked by accusations of personal exploitation of the country’s natural resources and embezzlement of public funds by the Bongo family.
In 2018, he suffered a stroke, but he still retains his position as President.
In January 2019, an attempted coup d’état failed, and shortly afterward, Ali Bongo announced he would run for re-election in 2023.
In the most recent Gabonese presidential election held on August 27, 2023, Ali Bongo was re-elected for a third term with 64.27% of the vote.
Ali Bongo wife
Sylvia Valentin Bongo Ondimba is the wife of the President of Gabon, having got married in 1989, per Wikipedia.
Sylvia was born on March 11, 1963, in Paris, France, and she is of Gabonese nationality.
She became the First Lady of Gabon when her husband, Ali Bongo, was inaugurated as President on October 16, 2009.
In January 2011, Sylvia created the Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Foundation, with the aim of improving the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people worldwide.
Sylvia and Ali Bongo have three children together; Noureddin Edouard, Jalil and Bilal. They also adopted a child named Malika in 2002.
It is worth noting that Ali Bongo was previously married to Inge Lynn Collins Bongo, an American woman from Los Angeles, California.
However, Ali Bongo and Sylvia are currently married and she is recognized as the First Lady of Gabon.
Ali Bongo political career
Ali Bongo is a Gabonese politician who has been serving as the third President of Gabon since October 2009.
He is the son of Omar Bongo, who was President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009.
During his father’s presidency, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991, represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999, and was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009.
After his father’s death, Ali Bongo won the 2009 Gabonese presidential election.
He was re-elected in 2016, in elections marred by numerous irregularities, arrests, human rights violations and post-election protests and violence.
Ali Bongo is also the president of the Gabonese Democratic Party.
Ali Bongo had made attempts to modernize his government, but he has struggled to escape the shadow of his father in the decade since taking office.
In 2018, he suffered a stroke while attending a summit in Saudi Arabia and has made few public appearances since then.
In 2023, Ali Bongo sought a third term in office.