Gabon launches biometric registration of civil servants

Gabon has begun biometric registration of public sector workers to address the problem of ghost workers on its payroll. Gabon has 55 public servants per 1,000 people compared to 13 per 1,000 in neighbouring Cameroon, which has tenfold the population of Gabon. Prime Minister, Julien Nkoghe Bekale, supported the biometric registration calling it ‘a rationalization of the public service workforce’.

African states often face resistance when undertaking biometric enrolment of civil servants due to privacy concerns. Gabon, however has a comprehensive privacy and data protection law.