Definition of Youth

Gabon’s 2011 national youth policy defines youth as those aged between 15 and 35 years old, in accordance with the African Youth Charter definition.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 21
  • 18
  • XX
  • Female
  • 21
  • 15
  • XX

  • No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  UN Child Rights Periodic Report

Majority Age


Source: Civil Code of Gabon (1995)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 87.76% Male (15-24) %
  • 90.51% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • --Male %
  • -- Female %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: UNESCO

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • -- Male (13-15) %
  • -- Female (13-15) %
  • Year: No data.
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy of Gabon was introduced in 2011 at the first national youth forum

The national youth policy is the outcome of a national youth survey, recommendations expressed at the 2011 Forum of Youth, Gabon’s engagement in working towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the African Youth Charter, adopted by Gabon. The policy identifies the following key steps and a timeline for action for the period 2013 to 2025 (Original in French, the author’s translation):

  • To create a ministry for youth development, citizenship and associations;
  • To reinforce the technical and operational capacities of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Leisure;
  • To restructure the National Youth Council;
  • To reinforce the prerogatives of Youth Parliament;
  • To reinforce the role of youth in democracy and decision making;
  • To develop volunteering;
  • To create a mobility scholarship for youths.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Leisure is responsible for all matters relating to youth, though the youth policy underlines the importance of cross-ministerial collaboration. Unfortunately the official website provides little information on the Ministry’s activities. According to a press article, the National Institute for Youth and Sports provides training and education, however it is unclear whether it purely consists of an institution of higher education or holds a governmental role.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The National Youth Council of Gabon (CNJG) was reactivated in 2003. It is a government consultative body in the field of youth. According to its presentation brochure, it aims to “reinvigorate the activities of youth movements, associations, clubs in order to further engage them in the decision-making and development of the nation”. (Original in French, author’s translation). It serves as an umbrella body for youth organizations, NGOs, and student associations. CNJG holds public events to engage and inform youth, such as the National Day of Youth.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
No documentation on the budget for youth in Gabon could be found online. According to the World Bank, Gabon spent 17.71% of its government expenditure and 3,83% of its GDP on education provision in 2000. More recent data on Gabon was not available.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

The basis for the development of Gabon’s youth policy framework was the 2011 Youth Forum (original in French, author’s translation), under the title “Partnership Contract for a Responsible Youth”. The three main themes:
  • Formation and Labour;
  • Sport, Culture and leisure;
  • Family, Ethics et values;
According to the Youth Forum report, the following outcomes were achieved:
  • Sharing positive experiences for building an emerging Gabon;
  • Youth self-awareness of their role;
  • The adoption of the youth policy document by all actors;
  • The reinvigoration of the National Youth Council of Gabon as a common platform and federation for youth organisations and movements;
  • The creation of an observatory for the evaluation of the national youth policy;
  • The assignment of a meeting centre to the National Youth Council of Gabon;
  • The launch of the President’s prize to celebrate the best youth entrepreneurs.
National Youth Council of Gabon

From the Gabon National Youth Council website:
The CNJG organises events and gatherings such as the National Day of Youth in collaboration with the Director General for Youth and regional representatives. It organises activities and materials to raise awareness and engage youth on topics such as HIV prevention, for instance through targeted campaigns, and organizing training sessions for youth organisations to achieving better governance and fundraising.

Though Gabon enjoys one of the highest GDP per capita in the continent, youth unemployment remains high. The government, with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the country’s civil society organisations, has developed the Country Programme for Decent Work(PPTD). The Employment Forum report (2010) highlights the heterogeneous nature of youth unemployment. The report places emphasis on encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives, through training youth experts, bridging the gap between education and the skills in demand in the labour market. The World Bank’s 2007 report, highlights the country’s project to integrate ICTs in education, as part of the efforts of the Education for All (EFA) plan to increase adult literacy to over 50%, in line with MDGs.
The Gabonese government’s plans include:
  • Supply schools with computers and wireless LAN;
  • Provide teachers with a programme to buy a personal laptop (1,000 teachers are already involved with the first step) ;
  • Deploy a portal for administrative and learning activities based on the Learning Gateway framework provided by HP and Microsoft;
  • Train teachers on how to use computers and integrate ICT into teaching activities;
  • Set up a management-of-change programme involving all actors working in the educational system.