The grand master of the National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF) installed Ali Bongo as the head of Gabonese Freemasonry, a couple of weeks ago. The title was, until June this year, held by the former President Omar Bongo. About one thousand influential politicians practice freemasonry in Gabon. Just like his father, Ali Bongo is expected to mobilize the Masonic network in order to establish his legitimacy and authority in Gabon and the world.
Ali Bongo, the new Gabonese President, Wednesday, November 4, launched the World Conference of Regular Freemasonry in Libreville. His father, Omar Bongo, who kicked the bucket on the 8th of June, 2009, had vehemently fought for the organization of the masonic forum to take place in the central African country and would have naturally jump for joy to welcome his “brethren” from all over the world. Ali Bongo, his heir, not only inherited the opportunity to hold the conference but also mount the vacant Gabonese Freemason throne.
According to the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, the cream of French Freemasons in Libreville, including Alain Bauer — former Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France (from 2000 to 2003) and special adviser for terrorism and crime at the French presidency, — after participating in Omar Bongo’s funeral ceremonies installed Ali Bongo as head of the two local branches of the lodge, which count some one thousand members.
Francois Stifani, the grand master of the National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF), one of the largest Masonic orders with 38 000 members, was in Libreville two weeks ago to ordain Ali Bongo, who until then occupied the rank of Assistant Grand Master, i.e.; at least three levels below the peak of the hierarchy. At age 53, Ali Bongo has become the grand master of the Grand Lodge of Gabon (GLB) and the Grand Equatorial Rite, the two predominant Freemason orders in Gabon.