LIBREVILLE, June 25 (Xinhua) -- French-speaking Gabon joins Saturday the Commonwealth, almost all of whose members are the former territories of the British Empire, said the Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba on his social media account.
Gabon's entry into the Commonwealth was approved at the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, which runs from June 20 to 25.
"Gabon is making history by officially becoming a member of the Commonwealth," tweeted the Gabonese President in English, affirming that Gabon is ready for a "breakthrough with a new chapter" and "opportunities on the economic, diplomatic, and cultural levels".
Gabon's willingness to join the Commonwealth is not a decision taken lightly.
A small Central African country with a population of more than 2 million, Gabon had long been considered an Eldorado in Central Africa because of its enormous oil revenues between the 1970s and 1980s.
In his major announcement in 2021, the Gabonese president said the goal of joining the Commonwealth is to diversify Gabon's economy. His spokesman Jessye Ella Ekogha also said back in 2021 that it was a choice aimed at "sustainable development of the country."
"We are going to have a lot from the Commonwealth, from the Commonwealth countries as they are going to share our experiences as well. And I confirm, and I affirm and I continue to say that the Commonwealth is a vibrant community with a future and values shared by Gabon," said Michael Moussa Adamo, the Gabonese foreign minister, in a recent media briefing. ■