Gabon has concentrated funding on infrastructure in recent years, not only in advance of the Africa Cup of Nations, but also as part of the government’s broader push to diversify the economy through its primary development strategy, Emerging Gabon.
The construction sector – supported by the Infrastructure Master Plan, which includes 114 projects in education, housing and transport – is thus expected to see annual growth of 4.7% from 2013 to 2016, providing for a better long-term outlook. The state continues to play a central role, predominantly through the National Public Works Agency, and publicly funded developments account for a large percentage of ongoing construction activity. Looking ahead, Gabon’s construction sector has plenty of work to carry out. Following the initial slowdown after the Africa Cup of Nations, the sector’s focus has shifted towards infrastructure projects in transport, industry and housing. Despite the fact that Gabon is a middle-income country, inadequate housing in slums is not uncommon, particularly in the capital city, Libreville, where more than half of the population is concentrated. Extensive government reforms have sought to improve clarity on urban planning, access to land, zoning and procurement issues, as well as construction permits.
This chapter contains interviews with Mauricio Toledano, CEO, Eurofinsa; and Luis Castilla, CEO, ACCIONA Infrastructure, Water and Services.