After several discussions, Gabon endorsed Thursday, the abolition of visas for nationals of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), in line with the agreement reached in 2013 on freedom of movement in Central Africa, announced the authorities Friday.
The nationals of the Cémac zone (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Chad) are “no longer subject to the visa of entry into Gabon for any stay not exceeding three months”, according to a circular that took effect on October 19th. The measure aims to “reconcile the need for free movement and the security requirement”.
Some countries, such as Chad and the Central African Republic, had already implemented this decision.
However, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, two major oil tankers, were still lagging because of immigration control. Gabon, a country of 1.8 million people, has attracted many immigrants from many African countries for decades, many of whom are in an irregular situation.
Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, reiterated in mid-August its refusal of the free movement agreement, except for holders of “diplomatic, official and service passports”.
Gabon also announces that “a special derogatory regime is granted to nationals of the G20 countries and those of the Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC ) wishing to visit Gabon”, in order to “enhance the attractiveness of the country and its more open to foreign direct investment, “according to a statement from the Interior Ministry on Thursday.
Founded in June 2000 in Malabo, CÉACAC brings together countries with very different incomes and is struggling to implement economic and monetary integration mechanisms.