Gabon removes checkpoints on its corridors to reduce the burden of hassle on product prices


As part of its program to combat the high cost of living in Gabon, the authorities are planning to remove certain checkpoints and screening points along the corridors linking the country to neighboring countries (Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo). According to the Ministry of Commerce, this decision concerns the Libreville-Bitam corridor (on the border with Cameroon), Libreville-Doussala (on the border with Congo) and Libreville-Oyem (on the border with Equatorial Guinea).

This will involve removing several checkpoints located inside the country and keeping mainly the points that are at the borders. "Checkpoints set up to facilitate statistics will be removed to avoid double taxation. And the information collected from travelers at the borders will be brought back to the national level. This requires a database," says a source at the Ministry of Commerce. The Ministry of Trade informs, for example, that the checkpoint at Ntoum, not far from Libreville, has already been officially abolished. The Mebo post will also be removed.

According to the Director General of Trade, Jean François Yanda, this measure is taken "to facilitate and simplify trade activities" between Gabon and neighboring countries. This, in a context where Gabon has difficulty in obtaining supplies as several countries elsewhere on the international market due in particular to the current health crisis. It is therefore a question of reducing, through this measure, the existing harassment along the corridors.

According to a Congolese transporter, they are victims of police and customs harassment every day. He also denounced corruption and the multiplication of taxes along the corridors, which have more than 100 checkpoints. For example, according to figures obtained from the Ministry of Commerce, between Eboro (border with Cameroon) and Libreville, there are about 100 checkpoints for several administrations.

Thus, according to the transporters, this measure will make it possible to fight against the circuits of corruption maintained by certain public agents on the corridors. According to the Ministry of Trade, this will reduce the cost of products imported from these border countries on the Gabonese market.

This measure is also in line with the agreement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf) which aims to facilitate the movement of goods across borders.


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