Gilbert Ondongo

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Gilbert Ondongo (born 1960[1]) is a Congolese politician who has served in the government of Congo-Brazzaville as Minister of State for the Economy since 2016. Previously he was Minister of Labour from 2005 to 2009 and Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2016.

Political career[edit]

Born at Owando, Ondongo belongs to the Kouyou ethnic group.[2] He began working at the Marien Ngouabi University in Brazzaville in the 1980s. After Denis Sassou Nguesso returned to power in the June–October 1997 civil war, he appointed Ondongo as Adviser to the President on the Economy, Finance, and the Budget; Ondongo served in that post from 1997 to 2002.[1] He was then appointed to the government on 18 August 2002 as Secretary of State for Budgetary Reform and Financial Administration, working under the Minister of the Economy, Finance, and the Budget.[3] He was promoted to the position of Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Security on 7 January 2005.[4]

Ondongo was Congo's candidate for the Presidency of the 96th Session of the International Labour Conference, but Congo withdrew his candidacy on 1 June 2007, allowing the unopposed election of Albania's Kastriot Sulka.[5]

During the campaign for the July 2009 presidential election, Ondongo worked on President Sassou Nguesso's re-election campaign, heading the campaign's finance and budgetary control department.[6] After Sassou Nguesso won re-election, he moved Ondongo to the post of Minister of Finance on 15 September 2009.[7]

On 28 January 2010, Ondongo announced that Congo-Brazzaville had reached its "completion point" in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries program, a debt relief initiative, thereby qualifying for a large reduction in the size of its external debt.[8]

Ondongo's wife Amélie Saboga was detained in early 2011 at the Johannesburg airport and again in October 2011 at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris with suitcases full of cash.[9]

At the PCT's Sixth Extraordinary Congress, held in July 2011, Ondongo was elected to the PCT's 51-member Political Bureau.[10] In the July–August 2012 parliamentary election, Ondongo stood as the PCT candidate in the first constituency of Owando. He won the seat in the first round with 75.19% of the vote.[11] In the government appointed after the election, on 25 September 2012, Ondongo retained the finance portfolio and was additionally assigned responsibility for planning; he was also promoted to the rank of Minister of State.[12][13]

In October 2013, Ondongo presented the draft of the national budget for 2014 to the National Assembly; the budget was increased slightly, from 4.12 billion CFA francs in 2013 to 4.13 billion for 2014.[14]

After Sassou Nguesso's victory in the March 2016 presidential election, Ondongo was appointed as Minister of State for the Economy, Industrial Development and Promotion of the Private Sector on 30 April 2016; Calixte Ganongo replaced him as Minister of Finance.[15] Ondongo took office at his new ministry on 4 May 2016, succeeding Isidore Mvouba.[16] In the July 2017 parliamentary election, Ondongo stood unopposed as a candidate in the second constituency of Owando, with no other candidates standing in the constituency.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ondongo Gilbert", Congo Brazzaville: Les Hommes de Pouvoir, number 1, Africa Intelligence, 29 October 2002 (in French).
  2. ^ "Roger Rigobert Andely", La Lettre du Continent, number 405, Africa Intelligence, 22 August 2002 (in French).
  3. ^ "La composition du nouveau gouvernement congolais", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, 19 August 2002 (in French).
  4. ^ "Le président Denis Sassou Nguesso remanie le gouvernement congolais", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, 8 January 2005 (in French).
  5. ^ International Labour Conference Provisional Record, 1 June 2007.
  6. ^ "Direction nationale de campagne du candidat Denis Sassou N'Guesso", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, 9 June 2009 (in French).
  7. ^ "Gouvernement - La nouvelle équipe compte trente-sept membres", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, 16 September 2009 (in French).
  8. ^ "Congo Rep secures debt relief: finance minister", Reuters, 28 January 2010.
  9. ^ John F. Clark; Samuel Decalo (Aug 9, 2012). "Historical Dictionary of Republic of the Congo". Historical Dictionaries of Africa (4 ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 339. ISBN 0810879891. Retrieved May 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ Joël Nsoni, "Denis Sassou Nguesso aux congressistes du P.c.t : «Les élections ne se gagnent pas dans les bureaux. Elles se gagnent sur le terrain»", La Semaine Africaine, 30 July 2011 (in French).
  11. ^ "Résultats du premier tour des élections législatives 2012", La Semaine Africaine, 24 July 2012 (in French).
  12. ^ "La nouvelle équipe gouvernementale rendue publique le 25 septembre", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, number 1,584, 26 September 2012, page 2 (in French). "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 2012-10-01. 
  13. ^ "Remaniement ministériel au Congo-Brazzaville", Radio France Internationale, 26 September 2012 (in French).
  14. ^ Roger Ngombé, "Présentation aux députés du projet de budget 2014 de l’État", ADIAC, 30 October 2013 (in French).
  15. ^ "Équipe gouvernementale de la Nouvelle République", ADIAC, 1 May 2016 (in French).
  16. ^ Bertrand Boukaka, "Isidore Mvouba cède le fauteuil à Gilbert Ondongo", Les Echos du Congo Brazzaville, 6 May 2016 (in French).
  17. ^ Roger Ngombé, "Elections législatives : Des favoris et des duels attendus", ADIAC, 29 June 2017 (in French).