Gabon - Personal background

Albert Bernard Bongo was born on 30 December 1935 at Lewal, in the Lekori prefecture of Haut-Ogodue province. He is from the Teke group, an ethnic group closely related to the Bateke of the Congo Republic. His father died when he was seven years old. The youngest of nine children, Bongo attended a public school in the Bacongo section of Brazzaville, in the Congo Republic, where he had relatives. He completed his secondary studies in commerce at the technical high school in Brazzaville. In 1958, Bongo obtained a position with the Post and Telegraphic Service. In 1959, he married Josephine Kama. The couple divorced in 1985, and Bongo remarried four years later. His second wife is Edith Sassou-Nguesso, the daughter of President Dennis Sassou-Nguesso of the Congo Republic. Bongo changed his given name to "Omar" in 1979 after converting to Islam.

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