Most Worshipful Grand Master Ali Ondimba Bongo, President of the Republic of Gabon

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Most Worshipful Grand Master Ali Ondimba Bongo, President of the Republic of Gabon

Brother Ali Bongo Ondimba (born Alain Bernard Bongo on 9 February  1959) is a Gabonese politician who has been President and Most Worshipful Grand Master of Gabon since 2009. Ali Bongo was born in Brazzaville as the son of President and Past Grand Master of Gabon, Brother Albert-Bernard Bongo (later Omar Bongo Ondimba) and Josephine Kama (later Patience Dabany).

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 and represented Bongoville as a Deputy in the National Assembly from 1991 to 1999; subsequently he was Minister of Defense from 1999 to 2009. He was the candidate of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) in the August 2009 presidential election, which followed his father's death. He is also President of the PDG.

After studying law, he entered politics, joining the PDG in 1981; he was elected to the PDG Central Committee at the party's Third Extraordinary Congress in March 1983. Subsequently he was his father's Personal Representative to the PDG and in that capacity he entered the PDG Political Bureau in 1984. He was then elected to the Political Bureau at an ordinary party congress in September 1986.

He has four children, a daughter, Malika Bongo Ondimba, and three sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, Jalil Bongo Valentin and Bilal Bongo, whom he and Sylvia adopted in 2002. Bongo is a keen sportsman, competing for Gabon in the Discus during his youth. He has also played in several minor African snooker tournaments.

Following his father's death, Ali Bongo was elected (31 October 2009, during the Annual Communication in the presence of 26 Grand Lodges) and installed Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Gabon in 2009. His Installation Ceremony was presided by the then Most Worshipful Grand Master François Stifani of the French National Grand Lodge. Later that year, in December, he attended the Annual Communication of the French National Grand Lodge.


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