Teachers in the central African countrry of Gabon have announced more strike action in their long standing fight for a living wage and decent learning conditions for teachers and students. Teachers struck for many weeks last term, yet despite that and despite much support from their students, there has been no progress on their demands.

Gabon has one of the highest average per capita incomes in Africa, yet a large proportion of the population is living in poverty, including teachers. Average life expectancy is only 52 years. It has rich mineral reserves, including oil and manganese but these are syphoned off partly by an elite group, led by the dictator Ali Bongo who took over from his father as ruler of the country in 2009, and partly by global corporations. These bodies enjoy areas of the country where there is full tax exemption for ten years, 'relaxed' labour laws and energy at 50% of the price, which consumers have to pay. No wonder the US Central Intelligence Agency praises Bongo in its 'factbook' for, "taking steps to make Gabon a more attractive investment destination"

While the Bongo government is such a great friend to international corporations however, it comes down hard on protesters, including schoolchildren demonstrating in solidarity with their teachers last term. It is a credit to Gabon's teachers, paid as they are starvation wages and teaching in very difficult conditions, that the literacy rate in the country is 89%.