Hon Paulette Missambo was born on 20th September 1949 in Kessipoughou Township in eastern Gabon, in Ogooué-Lolo Province.
She obtained her University Diploma in Literary Studies (DUEL) from the Université Omar Bongo (UOB) de Libreville before pursuing further studies at the Université de Lille III where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and her Diploma in Advanced Studies (DEA) in French Linguistics. She returned to Gabon to work as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Arts at the Université Omar Bongo (UOB) de Libreville. A few years later, she returned to France to train as a Teaching Inspector at the Institut d’Etudes Pédagogiques de Sèvres. She then joined the school administration as Inspector General of National Education.
In 1982, Paulette Missambo was appointed Principal of the Port-Gentil National High School. She was the first woman appointed to head a high school in Gabon. In 1987, she was appointed Principal of the Léon MBA National High School, which was the prestigious high school for general education at the time.
In 1990, she participated in the Gabonese National Conference as an auditor. The National Conference, which concluded with Gabon’s return to a multiparty system, was the highlight of demands and harsh discussions between Gabonese nationals from all sides: political parties, political associations and civil society. She was elected to the bureau of the conference, then General Rapporteur of the National Conference.
After the National Conference, she was appointed Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reforms in the Transitional Government. She remained in the Government without interruption for the next 17 years serving in the following capacities:
– From November 26, 1990 to June 21, 1991: Minister of the Public Service and Administrative Reforms;
– From 21 June 1991 to 25 March 1994, Minister of National Education;
– From March 25, 1994 to October 30, 1994, Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, Government Spokesperson;
– From October 30, 1994 to January 28, 1997, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports, in charge of Women’s Affairs, Government Spokesperson;
– From January 28, 1997 to January 25, 1999, Minister of State, in charge of National Education and Gender. This was an honour because it was the first time a woman was promoted to Minister of State.
– From January 25, 1999 to January 27, 2002, Minister of State, Minister of Labor, Employment and Vocational Training.
– From 27 January 2002 to 4 September 2006, Minister of State, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation;
– From 4 September 2006 to 28 December 2007, Minister of State, Minister of Public Health.
Paulette Missambo also served for four terms as a Member of Parliament of the Gabonese Democratic Party: 1991-1996; 1996-2001; 2001-2006 and 2006-2009. Since 2013, she is a Municipal Councilor in the Commune of Lastourville under the National Union, a political formation she helped to create in 2010 and of which she is one of the Vice-Presidents.
Finally, Paulette Missambo has also played an active role in the civil society. She has held the following positions at the National and international levels:
– Founding member of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE)
– Founding Member and Honorary President of the FAWE-GABON National Chapter
– Founding Member of the Network of Women Ministers and Parliamentarians
– Founding Member of the Women’s National Committee for Peace and Development (AWCPD)
– Founding member of the National Association of Teachers of French (AGEF), an affiliate of the International Federation of Teachers of French (FIPF).
– Grand Officer of the Equatorial Star
– Commander of the Order of Academic Palms
– Officer of the French Legion of Honor
– Contributed to the writing of the book: “Geography and Cartography of Gabon”, EDICEF 1982.
– Contributed to the writing of the Dictionary: “Mes 10 000 mots d’Afrique”, BORDAS 1981.