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Memorial Leon Mba

Libreville, Gabon

Forty years after his death, the Léon M'ba Memorial was built in Libreville to honor his memory. President Bongo laid the cornerstone for the Memorial on 9 February 2007, and it was inaugurated by Bongo on 27 November 2007. In February 2008, it was opened to the public.

This place is in remembrance of their leader who achieved independence for the country. The most admired leader. The Leon Mba memorial is a nice addition to where stood the statue of the first president on its own.

About Leon M'ba
A member of the Fang ethnic group, M'ba was born into a relatively privileged village family. After studying at a seminary, he held a number of small jobs before entering the colonial administration as a customs agent. His political activism in favor of black people worried the French administration, and as a punishment for his activities, he was issued a prison sentence after committing a minor crime that normally would have resulted in a small fine. In 1924, the administration gave M'ba a second chance and selected him to head the canton in Estuaire Province. After being accused of complicity in the murder of a woman near Libreville, he was sentenced in 1931 to three years in prison and 10 years in exile. While in exile in Oubangui-Chari, he published works documenting the tribal customary law of the Fang people. He was employed by local administrators, and received praise from his superiors for his work. He remained a persona non grata to Gabon until the French colonial administration finally allowed M'ba to return his native country in 1946.

In 1946, he began his political ascent, being appointed prime minister on 21 May 1957. He served as prime minister until 21 February 1961. In 1958, he directed an initiative to include Gabon in the Franco-African community further than before. He became president upon independence from France on 17 August 1960. Political nemesis Jean-Hilaire Aubame briefly assumed the office of president through a coup d'état in February 1964, but order was restored days later when the French intervened.

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