Health & Education

Gabon Health & Education 2013
Under the National Health Strategy adopted in 2010, Gabon has made a push to upgrade service quality and expand hospital capacity. In recent years, the country’s health strategy has centred on heavy investment in infrastructure. The Ministry of Health aims to enforce a set of quality standards by 2020, but with 86% of the population living in urban areas, rural structures face challenges including understaffing and interruption of supplies. Much remains to be done to meet Gabon’s Millennium Development Goals, yet efforts to make health governance more effective at the local level should help the authorities to identify weak points in the system and allocate resources more effectively. A drive to diversify Gabon’s economy away from commodity dependency has made education a key element of the broader plans for growth. The state is primarily working to increase the number of schools, train and recruit more teachers, and produce reliable statistics on student performance by 2020. Efforts to introduce more advanced and technical degree programmes will better equip young people to meet the demands of the shifting domestic job market. More and more specialised schools are opening with private support, but the country will need to expand these programmes quickly to meet the demands of Gabon’s growing economy. This chapter contains an interview with Léon Nzouba, Minister of Health.