Six French-speaking countries in central and western Africa are to implement long-running plans for visa-free movement of people among their nations. All governments of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo have now ratified the agreement.
The six countries of the bloc called the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) agreed to the deal in 2013. Visa-free access for workers will remove one of the many bureaucratic headaches for transport companies and other providers of cross-border services in the region.
ENCA reports that the deal took many years to negotiate. Oil-rich and relatively sparsely populated Equatorial Guinea and Gabon had concerns over the effects of visa-free travel. Their governments feared that the countries would be swamped by an influx of job-seekers from poorer members.
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