African Development Bank approves €286 million for Cameroon’s transport sector

24/11/2016
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On November 24, 2016, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved two loans for a total of €286.245 million to support the second phase of the Transport Sector Support Program in Cameroon.

The program will be structured around four components: (i) road works (rehabilitation of 241 kilometres of existing roads and construction of 146 km of new roads and 50 km of urban roads); (ii) related facilities (250 km of tracks giving access to agricultural production areas, provision of 200 kits of equipment for processing agricultural products to women’s groups, 20 water wells, 14 markets, rehabilitation of more than 18 schools, 10 multipurpose centres for women and young people); (iii) studies and institutional support of the road sector (a study of road sector reform in Cameroon; a study on the financing of road maintenance in Cameroon); and (iv) management of the project.

“The project will contribute to the opening-up and development of agricultural potential and will increase trade between the regions of the country,” said Amadou Oumarou, Director of the Transport and ICT Department of the AfDB. “The project will also improve the performance of the transport logistics chain between the cities of Yaoundé-Bamenda, Maroua-Bogo-Pouss and Grand Zambi-Kribi, and thereby improve the living conditions of the populations of these regions.”

In Cameroon, land transport sector is an important link for the economy and an essential support for the country’s accelerated growth strategy. It consists of road transport, which is the most used mode (freight and passengers) as well as air and rail, which also occupy an important place.

Aware of this infrastructure deficit, the government of Cameroon has set medium- and long-term orientations in its Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP) to increase the proportion of the paved road network from 10% in 2010 to 17% in 2020. Thus, this program covers: (i) rehabilitation of the Yaoundé-Bafoussam-Babadjou road; (ii) development and paving of the Maroua-Bogo-Pouss and Grand-Zambi-Kribi roads; and (iii) related socio-economic activities. The development of these road sections will promote the opening up of the agricultural production basins in relation to the consumption areas, thus leading to the development of the agricultural potential of the regions.

The main beneficiaries of the project would be the 4.6 million inhabitants of the central, western and extreme north regions of Cameroon. The beneficiary populations of the project will contribute to the construction, management and maintenance of some related infrastructures.

The project is aligned with the various existing strategic frameworks and in particular on the country’s Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP 2010-2020), which is the framework for economic and social policy on the medium- and long-term. It is also in line with the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP), and is in line with its Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022). Finally, the project addresses three of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, namely improvement of the quality of life of the people in the project’s area of influence, providing them with the necessary socio-economic structures, development of agriculture and food security through the opening-up of agricultural production areas; and the promotion of industrialization by reducing the cost of transport and the costs of transactions and logistics.

According to Joseph N'guessan, Chief Transport Engineer and Project Manager, “The implementation of this project will contribute to strengthen the Bank’s leadership in the transport sector in Cameroon.”

The program will take four years for implementation, with a total estimated cost of €454.21 million. The Bank intervenes through both African Development Bank and African Development Fund windows, for €270.155 million and €16.090 million, respectively, constituting 62.79% of the total cost. The other co-financiers are the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC) with €75.87 million, or 16.70%, and Cameroon, with €93.15 million, representing 20.51% of the joint financing cost.