Gabon leader wants Obama to spotlight Africa

By the Associated Press | June 9, 2011 | 12:44 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The president of oil-rich Gabon says he hopes a meeting with President Barack Obama will encourage the U.S. leader to keep the spotlight on Africa and launch the partnerships with African countries that he promised in 2009 to promote prosperity on the continent.

Ali Bongo, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council, said Gabon wants "these partnerships to begin and flourish."

Bongo told AP before heading to Washington to meet Obama at the White House late Thursday that he also supports the president's call "for strong and sustainable democratic governments in Africa."

The son of Gabon's late dictator won a contested presidential election in 2009 that was deemed flawed, even fraudulent, by many observers and triggered widespread violence.