AfDB Board approves Ketta-Djoum road development and Yaoundé-Brazzaville corridor transport facilitation, a regional transport project

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The Board of Director of the African Development Bank Group met in its ordinary session on October 21, 2015 in Abidjan, and approved the Ketta-Djoum road development and Yaoundé-Brazzaville corridor transport facilitation project-Phase 2, with a view to boosting economic and social development and regional integration in the Economic Community for Central African States area (ECCAS).

The estimated total project cost is UA 302.190 million (approximately US $424 million) and comprises road works, ancillary infrastructure, transport facilitation, transport sector studies and institutional support, biodiversity support, and project management.

This road project is an important segment of the highway linking the capitals of Congo (Brazzaville) and Cameroon (Yaoundé) that will directly benefit road users and communities within the project area. Apart from developing trade between the two countries, the project will additionally contribute to the consolidation of regional integration in Central Africa by facilitating highway interconnections linking Cameroon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic.

Commonly Africa lacks the infrastructure to meet the basic needs of its population and to reduce poverty. Those infrastructure needs are enormous. Hundreds of millions of Africans lack the most fundamental amenities, from rural roads to basic health, education, banking and commercial services.

The Board has observed that the Ketta-Djoum road development and Yaoundé-Brazzaville corridor transport facilitation project will have a positive impact on the local communities in both countries; in terms of greater access to basic social services, the reduced cost of inputs and more produce marketing facilities. It will also foster social cohesion and combat spatial exclusion by connecting the project zone to government services, since the localities crossed by the project road are located in economically fragile areas. Other beneficiaries of the project are transporters and shippers, whose operating and transport costs will be reduced. The project will revive food crop and cash crop production in the project zone. Consequently, it will have an impact on poverty reduction and job creation. Its implementation will provide a permanent land transport connection between Cameroon and Congo and boost trade between the two countries and within the Central African sub-region.

By contributing to the construction of the missing links of the Yaoundé-Brazzaville corridor, the Bank will consolidate its role as the lead donor in Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

Presenting the paper to the Board, the project team highlighted that the lack of more modern roads, power networks and other infrastructure hampers Africa’s economic development.

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