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Cameroon expands eVisa service through infrastructure investment

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 17 Apr 2024
Cameroon's minister of external relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella.
Cameroon's minister of external relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella.

Cameroon has commenced building of an ICT facility as part of a government initiative to standardise and safeguard the country's consular services, including an electronic visa (eVisa) system that was implemented last year.

Impact Palmarès R&D SAS, an Ivorian security and biometric solutions provider and Cameroon's technical partner on the project, will build the Ministry of External Relations' Digital Transformation Centre (CTDM-MINREX) in 12 months.

The eco-friendly, high-tech four-story building, located in the capital Yaounde, will include an ICT laboratory, a management unit for the supply, storage, and distribution of consular service equipment, consumables, and printed materials, a training room, a 24-hour call centre, and a data storage unit, among other facilities.

Cameroon's minister of external relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella, said when laying the center's foundation yesterday that CTDM-MINREX's functions will allow the country to improve the quality of its consular services to international standards.

He stated that the centre will streamline consular procedures and expedite work processes, allowing applicants to receive eVisas to Cameroon in 24-48 hours.

The facility will also serve to ensure the country's sovereignty over the data created by the eVisa system, safeguard consular data, and modernise internal operations, according to the Minister.

Cameroon welcomed 157,668 visitors of all categories through the country's two main international airports of Douala and Yaounde between April 30, 2023 and March 30, 2024 - one year after the new eVisa system was deployed.

“Since the launch of the eVisa platform, we have experienced an impressive rise in the number of persons visiting Cameroon, With the coming of this centre, we expect that number to increase and several other positive changes,” Mbella said.

Impact Palmarès charmain and CEO Giresse Tela guaranteed that his company will deliver the infrastructure on time.

His company signed a 10-year build-operate-transfer contract in April 2022 to finance and create a secure and unified system for Cameroon's consular services.

In addition to a datacenter to manage and process consular information, the agreement includes the creation of biometric consular cards and other diplomatic documents.

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