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Jean Ping

Tunisia, Gabon

A Gabonese diplomat and politician, he is the son of a Chinese trader and a Gabonese mother.

More by user: lremy
Created: 18th Apr 2008
Modified: 13th Oct 2009
Professional Information
African Union (AU)
Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union

Description of Work:

The resume of Ping's career is outlined in the following:

His political career began at the tender age of 32, in 1972, where he worked at UNESCO in its Sector for External Relations and Cooperation as an international civil servant. By 1978, he became advisor to the Gabonese embassy in France, subsequently becoming Gabon's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, for which he served until 1984. From the year 1984 to 1990, Ping also served as Director of the Civil Cabinet of the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo.

On February 26, 1990, Ping became Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunications, Tourism and Recreation, and Reform of the Parastatal Sector, in charge of relations with Parliament, as well as Government Spokesman. He served in that position for two months before becoming Minister of Mines, Energy, and Hydraulic Resources on April 29, 1990. He remained in the latter position until June 1991, then served as Minister of Mines, Energy, and Hydraulic Resources for a second time from August 28, 1992 to March 24, 1994. He was then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, and La Francophonie from March 25, 1994 to October 29, 1994, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Finance, the Economy, the Budget, and Privatisation from October 30, 1994 to January 25, 1997, and Minister of Planning, the Environment and Tourism from January 27, 1997 until he was appointed as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, La Francophonie, and Regional Integration on January 25, 1999. He remained Foreign Minister for nine years.

As an elected body to the National Assembly from Omboué in the December 1996, 2001, 2006 parliamentary elections, he was eventually chosen to be President of the fifty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2004.

Ping was regarded one of the key figures who helped arrange the visit to Gabon in 2004 of Chinese President Hu Jintao, who used the capital Libreville as the platform for making a land-mark speech promising a new era of engagement with Africa, "without political strings."

On February 1, 2008, Ping was elected as Chairperson of the Commission at an AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He had been the frontrunner, enjoying the support of countries in Central, West, and East Africa.

Biographical Information
Jean Ping
(At a Glance)
Gender: male
Interests: A member of the French National Association of Doctors of Economics, Mr. Ping holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Paris I and has received honorary doctorates
Place of Origin: Gabon

Ping was born in Omboué, Etimbwé Department, Ogooué-Maritime Province; Ping is one of President Bongo's closest and longest-serving ministers and is one of the most powerful figures in Gabon with a rich and diverse political career.

Previously, Ping was married to Pascaline Bongo Ondimba, President Bongo's daughter who is on the board of directors of several companies including the oil company Total Gabon.

Topical Focus  » Jean Ping

Jean Ping Defines Africa Union Priorities

African Union Chairperson Jean Ping believe the panafrican organisation is effectively tackling the toughest economic and political problems facing the continent.

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