In need to learn more about time and formalities required to cross borders within the Cemac area, the African Development Bank (AfDB) conducted a mission early 2019 across the corridor from Douala (Cameroon) to Bangui (Central African Republic) and Ndjamena (Chad), among others.
This 1,500 km road is the main axis on the Douala – Yaoundé – Bonis – Bertoua – Garoua-Boulaï – Bangui segment. The Douala-Bangui and Douala-Ndjamena corridors are served by a little more than 5,000 trucks and the existing agreement provides for 60% Cameroonian truckers and 40% Central African truckers. But, according to the AfDB, only five Central African carriers operate on this axis. This means, the remaining (4,995) are all Cameroonians.
AfDB has noted that travel can easily reach 5 to 8 days, with many checkpoints and weighing stations. It identified 60 checkpoints between Douala and Garoua-Boulaï and each trucker pays between $6 (about XAF3,500) and $10 (XAF5,500) at each point. This means, the 4,995 Cameroonian truckers pay between XAF17.4 million and XAF27.4 million per trip even though there are no rest areas provided for transporters, thus increasing the risk of accidents.
Insecurity between Garoua-Boulaï and Bangui requires convoy travel under UN or Central African Armed Forces escort three times a week. Escort fee is $50 (nearly XAF30,000) per truck and per trip from both Garoua-Boulaï and Bangui. Cameroonian drivers thus pay about XAF150 million per trip.
Further, AfDB also indicated, there is “the payment to the Central African rebels of $10 per driver departing Garoua-Boulaï, despite the presence of the UN or Central African escort.” In other words, the Central African rebels receive from 4,995 Cameroonian truckers an amount of XAF27.47 million per trip despite the presence of a UN escort.
At the Beloko border on both the Cameroonian and Central African sides, each driver must pay $32 (about XAF18,600) to cross the border without a receipt. That is nearly XAF93 million for all the Cameroonian drivers on each trip.
In total, Cameroonian truckers pay between XAF287.8 million and 297.87 million per trip on the Douala-Bangui corridor.
Business in Cameroon