Working in Gabon
To settle in Gabon as an employee, it is necessary to be in possession of a valid passport before your arrival:
- an Employment Authorization issued by the Ministry of Labor.
- an Entry Authorization request by the employer to the DGDI (General Directorate of Documentation and Immigration). The deadline for obtaining the residence permit will be one month after the date of entry into Gabon. Validity of the residence card for French nationals: 2 years for the first card, 5 years for the following ones.
The SMIG is equal to 150,000 CFA francs per month (about 230 Euros) for 40 hours of work per week.
What sectors are the main employment opportunities in Gabon?
Expatriates occupy highly specialized positions in oil companies, para-petroleum companies, mining, construction and transportation. Gabon is looking to invest in the sectors of environmental protection (tourism, forestry …), which have strong potential.
The new technologies sector is also a development axis: Gabon is today the 1st country in Central Africa in terms of ICT.
If you are looking to work in Gabon, there are therefore vacancies in the development of content and applications related to information and communication technologies.
The government also has the ambition to create a technological pole on the island of Mandji (installation of technopoles to attract international players in the digital economy) located in the Ogooué Delta.
Caution: Due to the policy of Gabonese job creation and the difficult economic situation, it is very difficult for foreigners to obtain an employment contract and a residence permit in Gabon, unless they can prove they have very specific technical skills.
Finding a job in Gabon
There is not really an official job search organization in Gabon, but rather sites or associations that centralize any job searches received and redirect them to job seekers.
The most effective way to find a job in Gabon is to turn to international recruitment firms.
However, the best way is to go through the network of expatriates already settled by consulting their blogs.
Beware, quotas have been put in place to promote the employment of Gabonese people, so you will have to bring a rare profile to have a chance to be hired.
Starting a business in Gabon
What are the opportunities for business start-ups in Gabon?
In Gabon, to create a company, you have the possibility to create a sole proprietorship, a commercial or industrial company, a Limited Liability Company (SARL), a General Partnership (SNC), a Limited Company, a Branch, with a “Business” visa or a Resident Card.
The Centre de Développement des Entreprises (C.D.E.) will inform you of the documents to be provided depending on the structure chosen.
Remember to bring an extract of your criminal record less than 3 months old.
GABON: A HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
Unemployment is at its highest in Gabon, particularly among young people (one-third are unemployed) and women, as the country has failed to transform its oil wealth into sustainable employment.
Gabon is unable to integrate the thousands of young people who enter the labor market every year. There is no unemployment compensation in Gabon, only company agreements in the event of mass layoffs.
According to the Gabonese Tax Code, any individual who is ordinarily resident in Gabon or who has resided there for at least six months in the year is taxable.
Income tax in Gabon is withheld at source each month from the salary by the employer and paid to the Treasury. There is a regularization every year after the declaration has been made. There are 8 brackets, from the first one where you pay nothing if you earn less than 1 500 000 FCFA per year, to the last one where you pay 35% of your income – 1 669 000 FCFA if you earn more than 11 000 001 FCFA per year.
To obtain a tax identification number (N.I.F.), you will need to fill out form IM03.
The standard VAT rate is set at 18%. The Flat Rate Residential Tax is due for all premises assigned to housing, regardless of the quality of the occupant. Built properties are taxed in the name of their owners on January 1 of the tax year.
Retirement in Gabon
Life in Gabon is relatively expensive, so it is difficult for someone who has no network or habits in Gabon to spend his retirement there. Only expatriates who have made their life or part of their life in Gabon will be able to continue to live there once they retire.
The Franco-Gabonese Social Security Convention does not include any provision allowing you to benefit from reimbursement of the care you receive.