Gabon - CEMAC - Passport

Gabon to introduce CEMAC passport

APA-Libreville (Gabon)

Gabon becomes the last country of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC) to adopt the biometric passport.

That’s it! It took Ali Bongo Odimba’s regime ten years to adopt the CEMAC biometric passport. The new document materializes the free movement of nationals between the six countries of the CEMAC zone.


CEMAC is an area of about 45 million inhabitants, located in Central Africa and currently comprising six countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Chad. These six countries also share the CFA franc as their currency of exchange and payment.


The new CEMAC biometric passport is considered secure because it has a “more secure chip with a polycarbonate data page, one of the latest technologies in the field,” said Eddy N’Gaba, director of information systems at Gabon’s General Directorate of Documentation and Immigration.


A thorn in the side of Daniel Ona Ondo, the Gabonese who chairs the CEMAC Commission. “I must confess that I was very embarrassed to hear myself say at each CEMAC meeting that my country, Gabon, was the only country that did not have the CEMAC biometric passport,” he said after the official signing of the approval documents on May 15, 2022, in Libreville.


The first passports will be issued to users who apply for them in the next few days. However, in addition to this passport, CEMAC citizens will have to apply for a visa and a residence permit to reside in a member country for more than 90 days. Passports in circulation will remain valid until they expire, according to the Gabonese Minister of the Interior.


Only ordinary passports will be issued in the coming days. Discussions are underway for service and diplomatic passports, said Bernard Gnamakala, director general of documentation and immigration of Gabon.


Unlike the other five CEMAC countries, Gabon will issue a blue biometric passport to refugees.



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