Alfred Ngamba, a journalist with the bi-monthly newspaper "Le Nganga", was arrested and detained on 8 March 2004. He is currently incarcerated at the "Gros bouquet" prison in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. "Le Nganga" is published in the capital. According to "Le Nganga" editorial staff, Ngamba has been charged with libelling a medical doctor in an article he wrote for the paper. The unidentified doctor is also director of a well-known Libreville-based non-governmental organisation.

It is normally vibrant with pupils in classrooms and the yard, but the students and teachers are now at home. They will not return until a commission set up by the ministry of education to investigate the problems plaguing the school submits its report. The authorities in Gabon, which oil has made one of Africa's richest countries, closed the school a month ago following student unrest. "The Omar Bongo High School is sinking," said the minister, after participants informed him that there was more

Four days of rioting by secondary school students in Libreville last week highlighted a growing frustration with education cutbacks in Gabon, a country that grew rich on oil, but which is now struggling to cope with a steady decline in production. The country's main technical school remains closed after four days of rioting over cutbacks to a free student bus service in which one student was killed.

Reporters sans frontières (RSF) has expressed concern about the recent measures taken by the National Communications Council (Conseil national de la Communication, CNC) against four private media outlets. During the week of 16 May 2003, the CNC decided to suspend the publication of two private newspapers, "Misamu" and "Le Temps". In addition, the publications "Jeunesse Action" and "l'Espoir" received official warnings from the council.

Access to potable water remains a critical problem in both rural Gabon and poorer suburbs of big cities. Libreville, the capital of oil-rich Gabon, is home to 600,000 people, many of whom live in its poorer suburbs with no access to clean running water.