Gabon's Sick Leader Faces Six-Month Recovery Period

(Bloomberg) -- Gabon President Ali Bongo is expected to take six more months to fully recover from a stroke that has curtailed his ability to rule the central African nation since October, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Bongo’s doctors expect him to make a full recovery even though he is convalescing slowly, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. He is currently recuperating in Morocco after falling ill during an investment summit in Saudi-Arabia.

Bongo is scheduled to visit Gabon for two or three days next week to oversee a cabinet meeting, said the person, without elaborating on the leader’s permanent return or when he’ll resume all of his duties. The meeting will follow almost a month after a reshuffle of the cabinet, which included the appointment of new mining, economy and defense ministers.

A spokesman for the presidency didn’t immediately respond to emails or text messages for comment.

Bongo, 60, has paid only one previous visit to Gabon since falling ill, when he attended the swearing in of a new government in January, barely a week after an attempted coup. He has ruled OPEC’s second-smallest oil producer since winning elections in 2009 that were held months after his father, Omar Bongo, died in office.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.