Population: 1.5 million (2012)
Official language: French
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Groupes bibliques du Gabon (GBG)
Gabon is a democracy in principle, but there is widespread political corruption and this has led to an increasingly uneven distribution of income and growing poverty. Although more than 60% of the population claim to be Christian, many are nominal and syncretism is widespread.
- 3 state universities, a dozen private universities
- GBG present in 4 cities - 3 universities and 3 high-schools
- 1 national secretary, 5 part-time staff
- about 70 high school students, students and graduates regularly participating in activities.
The GBG has seen exciting growth since it was restarted in 2004. In 2013, 8 delegates represented the movement at the GBUAF Pan-African gathering in Lomé. Their participation helped students gain a better understanding of student groups’ vision and implement it in their schools or on their campuses. New group creation initiatives are starting to emerge within the country.
The relationship between GBG and local churches is improving, but the movement is still often viewed as a rival denomination.
View from the inside
Nesmy Bersot Mve Nguema is the National Secretary of the GBG. He says, ‘GBG can now be compared to a tree in early spring. We have had our fall and our winter. We lost all our foliage. But for almost a year buds are growing everywhere we look’.
Nesmy’s vision for his ministry is ‘to bring every student not only to a thorough awareness of their identity in Christ and what it means, but also to engage each one in the specific challenges facing them both as a Christian and as a citizen and future leader’.
- for the stability of the Gabonese educational system undermined by repeated strikes;
- for students to make time for ministry despite the pressure of their studies;
- for the precarious financial situation of the movement;
- for wisdom for the new board recently appointed and training of the successor to the National Secretary.