US$ 190 million from the AfDB to Link up Congo and Cameroon

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Tunis, 25 September 2009 – The Board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved today an important financial package worth USD 190 million to link up Congo and Cameroon. This funding from the African Development Fund, the concessional window of the AfDB Group, comprises a grant of 61.9 million Units of Account (USD 97 million) and a loan of UA 59.27 millions (USD 93 million).

The Ketta-Djoum Road and the Brazzaville-Yaoundé Transport Corridor Facilitation Project will assist in strengthening regional integration in Central Africa. It will enable interconnecting highways linking Cameroon, Congo, DRC, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Central African Republic. In addition to improving the movement of people and goods between Congo and Cameroon, it will open up areas with significant economic potential in Northern Congo (agriculture, ore, timber, etc.) and in the South-eastern part of Cameroon..

The 504.5-km Ketta-Djoum Road is a major link on the 1 612-km highway connecting the two capital cities of Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) and Yaoundé, (Cameroon). At  completion, the project, to be implemented in two phases, will provide a completely paved corridor between Brazzaville and Yaoundé.

“No permanent road connection actually exists between the capitals of the two countries (Yaoundé and Brazzaville),” says Ali Kies, Manager, Transport Division, at the African Development Bank. “The road sections between Ketta and Djoum along this axis are in an advanced state of disrepair, thus cutting off regions that it crosses. As a result, huge agricultural, mining and tourist potential remain untapped, constituting a setback to the development of trade between the two nations and in the Central Africa sub-region.”

The first phase of the project, funded by the African Development Fund, includes, (in Congo), paving of the Ketta-Biessi section (121 km) and minimal works on the Biessi-Cameroon border earth road section (195 km). In Cameroon, it involves minimal works on the Congo border-Mintom earth road section (105.5 km) and paving of the Mintom-Djoum section (83 km). Phase II of the project will comprise paving the remaining Biessi-Cameroon border earth road section (195 km) in Congo and paving the remaining Congo border-Mintom earth road section.

Leading the implementation of NEPAD’s infrastructure and regional integration programmes, the AfDB Group dedicates up to 60% of its operations to infrastructure.

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