They file numerous complains reporting customs and other official corps checks exceed its regular number and they spend over 1.5 million per trip.
Trade between Cameroon and Gabon is not doing as well as one would have expected from two countries in the same economic zone (CEMAC) and no less neighbouring countries, due to the many obstacles encountered along the way. This is at least what the World Bank says in a memorandum entitled ”Gabon: towards a greener and more inclusive sustainable growth”. “24% of traders reported having to pay discretionary fees at checkpoints along the country’s trade corridors. Moreover, on the road from the Cameroonian border to Libreville, a truck can expect to be stopped up to 44 times,” it says.
In detail, “while covering the 478 kilometres between the Abang Minko border and the Gabonese capital, a truck can expect to be stopped once every 10.8 kilometres. The truck driver would be stopped 25 times by the police and gendarmerie; plus about four times each by the municipalities, customs and phytosanitary police; and seven times by other entities,” the World Bank laments.
Impacts on the economy
These practices are not without negative impacts on the economy of the two countries because of the 44 checkpoints operated by the police, gendarmerie or customs, about thirty of them are part of the hassle register that causes economic operators to lose 1.510 million CFA francs on each trip. “The total cost of these practices is estimated at around 14% of the final price of foodstuffs for consumers,” says the Bretton Woods institution. The significant increases in transport costs and a delay of 15 hours per trip add to this list of obstacles to the free movement of goods ans people between Cameroon and Gabon.