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Supporting regional integration in the Lake Chad Basin
Two loan agreements totaling €44.51 million were signed on Thursday, May 24 in Busan, Korea, by Alamine Ousmane Mey, Cameroon’s Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, and Ousmane Doré, Director General for the African Development Bank Central Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.
This financing by the Bank (€33.32 million) and the African Development Fund (€11.19 million) will partially fund the regional road network integration project in the Lake Chad Basin to link Cameroon and Chad. An additional €40 million will come from European Union co-financing.
Mey welcomed the project, which is expected to contribute to poverty reduction and sub-regional integration In Central Africa. “The project is in line with the Cameroon Vision 2035, which considers that the development of infrastructure must be closely framed within economic objectives seeking to make the country a major crossroad for trade in Central Africa among other things.”
“This project is one of the strategic priorities of the two countries and in line with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy 2013-2022(link is external)that makes regional infrastructure a priority,” said Doré. “It falls within two of the major pillars of the Bank’s High 5 priorities(link is external) – Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.”
The project will create a new transit route to improve the transport system in the Lake Chad Basin region and improve the development and economic competitiveness of the zone between Cameroon and Chad. This is especially important because the frontier zone is vulnerable to Boko Haram.
Transport costs will be reduced, the living standards of people living along the road will be improved, and trade and transit will facilitated when people and goods can move more easily between the two countries and when zones with high economic potential in northern Cameroon (agriculture, mining, timber, etc.) and southwest Chad are opened.
Project activities include erecting a 620-metre-long bridge over the Logone River between Bongor in Chad and Yagoua in Cameroon, and building a 14-kilometre road linking the two towns. Other related improvements involve the rehabilitation of the socioeconomic infrastructure and promoting women’s and young people’s business activities to amplify project impacts.
The signing ceremony of the Regional Integrative Road Network Project in the Lake Chad Basin was organized on the sidelines of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 44th Annual Meeting of the African Development Fund (ADF), which took place from May 21-25, 2018 in Busan, Korea.