Relations with Gabon are friendly and free of tensions, but still have potential for development, especially in the economic and environmental sectors.
Due to its wealth of natural resources, Gabon is classified as a middle-income country and thus no longer benefits from German bilateral development cooperation.
The two countries enjoy good cooperation in international organisations. For example, Germany and Gabon tabled a most successful resolution on the fight against poaching in Central Africa and the illegal trade in animals to the UN General Assembly in 2015.
In 2017, President Ali Bongo Ondimba met Federal President Steinmeier in Bonn during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23).
Cooperation in science and research is a pillar of bilateral relations. The Gabonese research institute CERMEL, which is under German management and funded by Germany, is conducting internationally acknowledged pioneering research work into vaccines against tropical diseases such as malaria, Ebola and tuberculosis.
Bilateral cultural relations are well developed on the whole, even though there is no Goethe-Institut in Libreville. Promoting the German language is one priority, and about 5000 people are studying German at 27 schools. In 2010, a German Department was established at the Université Omar Bongo in Libreville. There are now more than 100 students enrolled in the department at the state university.
In addition, there are two higher education partnerships and an intensive exchange of students and scientists. Since 1982, the Gabonese Government has awarded scholarships enabling students to study in Germany, where they mainly pursue scientific disciplines. There are around 200 young Gabonese studying in Germany.