Akiba’s unique approach is underpinned by its sincere appreciation for the materials used, the people who make each masterpiece, and the creative processes that bring them to life.
By working closely together with our communities, Akiba has learnt of the profound respect and connection the Gabonese people have to their forests. Appreciating the respect held for these trees informs how we develop each furniture masterpiece. It also informs our aspirations to foster sustainable and inclusive growth within the communities we operate in. Plans to upskill local talent further with a Training Academy and supporting local educational intuitions form part of the Akiba ‘way’.
The wood used in Akiba’s products are exclusively from Gabon. They are consolidated in Nkok (22km northwest of the capital city Libreville) and manufactured in the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ).
GSEZ is a Public-Private Partnership between Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) and the Gabonese Republic, contributing to the diversification of Gabon’s economy and creating jobs. GSEZ Nkok is one of the country’s largest employers and a provider of training opportunities for the Gabonese youth.
GSEZ encourages creating value-added products for export, rather than just raw materials. Because of this, the amount of wood harvested is limited but job creation, skills development and technology transfer are maximised. Within GSEZ, 8,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs have been created for the Gabonese people, all of which are supported by high international standards on health and safety, and environmental sustainability.
GSEZ was awarded best industrial zone in the world in the wood sector by the Financial Times’ 2020 FDI ranking and is Africa's first certified carbon-neutral industrial zone.