Port Gentil - Gabonese President Ali Bongo announced on Thursday a series of "emergency measures" to fight corruption, help industry and defend the environment.

"There is an emergency. Thus, I have decided on ... measures concerning national public life..., emergency measures," Bongo said after a cabinet meeting exceptionally held in the western city of Port-Gentil.

In addition to the new push against corruption, various agencies, public bodies and funds would be centralised to cut costs.

A new national Gabon Oil Company would also be set up in the oil-rich African country as part of measures to boost industry.

The forestry industry, the biggest private sector employer, would benefit from a new $ 41.5m fund and tax measures to encourage more wood products to be made locally.

In support of environmental protection, non-biodegradable plastic bags would be banned as well as products not allowed in their country of origin. Anti-poaching measures would also be boosted.

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