News  |  27.05.2021

Why is timber production down in Gabon?

As relayed by Le Nouveau Gabon, the actors of the Gabonese forestry and wood industry are currently experiencing difficulties. Why these complications and what do they entail?

Why is timber production down in Gabon?

On May 18, economic operators of the timber sector presented to members of the government the difficulties they are currently experiencing in Gabon. Facing the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Water and Forests, Charles Mve Ellah, and the Ministers of Economy, Nicole Jeanine Lydie Roboty, of Trade, Hugues Mbadinga Madiya and of Budget, Sosthène Ossoungou Ndibangoye, forestry companies pointed out the logistical difficulties they encounter in evacuating logs from forest sites, the state of roads and the increasing number of roadblocks that increases transport costs, and the non-reimbursement of VAT credits.

These difficulties, particularly those related to the supply of logs to plants in the Nkok zone, are at the root of the decline in this sector's activities in 2020. According to data from the Ministry of the Economy, because of this situation and the health crisis, the production of sawn timber has fallen by 2.1%, while sawmilling units have experienced a deterioration in industrial and commercial performance, with production falling by 5.2%.

However, Gabon has high hopes for its forestry and timber sector to succeed in diversifying its economy and mobilizing budget revenues in a context of falling oil revenues.

As a solution to revitalize the sector, it was agreed at the end of the meeting, to proceed with the reimbursement of VAT credits, which should relieve the sector, according to Frederic Ober (General Manager of Precious Wood).

Gabon hopes to achieve its goal of becoming the world leader in processed tropical timber by 2023.