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Infrastructure progress in Cameroon

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Infrastructure progress in Cameroon
People in the Central African region will benefit from improved transport infrastructure in cities and between countries. Image credit: Eduoard Tamba from Unsplash.

Infrastructure progress in Cameroon

Cameroon has made progress in developing infrastructure across the country over the last decade.

Although the Central African region, and especially the Far North, Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon faces a range of challenges, the country has moved forward with projects to develop crucial infrastructure important for regional growth.

The African Development Bank Group played an important role in funding a number of these projects and has earmarked more than 50% of its portfolio for funding transport infrastructure in Cameroon.

Earlier this week, Alamine Ousmane Mey, Cameroon’s Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development and the Bank’s Governor for Cameroon, lauded the Bank’s engagement in the country, saying its interventions are “radically changing the face of the region.”

Spearheading crucial infrastructure projects

The Bank spearheaded crucial projects such as the Ketta-Djoum Road, linking Cameroon to Congo, for which it invested USD173-million. It has also contributed to connecting Cameroon to Nigeria by providing USD120-million for the construction of the Bamenda-Enugu Road and the Cross River border bridge. The bridge formally opened to traffic in October 2022.

The construction of a bridge over the Logone River, funded to the tune of USD115-million, is underway to link northern Cameroon with Chad. In addition, the Bank last year approved USD80-million for the construction of a bridge over River Ntem to connect Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

Establishing transport links between Cameroon and its neighbours, namely Congo, Chad, Nigeria, and Gabon, through the construction of cross-border roads and bridges, facilitates regional integration.

In 2011, the Bank provided USD60-million in financial and technical support for the construction of the Lom Pangar and Nachtigal dams. The hydroelectric dam injected 1153 GWh into the interconnected grid in southern Cameroon, providing over 100,000 additional households with access to electricity.

These projects have generated more than 2.5 million direct jobs, 40% of them held by women, enhanced the efficiency of the transport logistics chain along travel corridors, and improved communities’ access to basic services.

Projects for the next five years

During her recent visit to the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Bank Group’s Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, led the inauguration of the Bank Group’s regional office for Central Africa, reaffirming the institution’s commitment to the region’s development course.

The Bank is the only development institution that continues to operate intensively in Cameroon’s Far North, Northwest, and Southwest regions, which have been plagued by security challenges. These regions and the East remain the Bank’s priorities in Cameroon for the next five years.

The Bank’s projects for the next five years include:

  • Cameroon-Chad Power Interconnection Project, with funding totalling USD240.86- million.
  • Territorial Development Project for the Far North Region, with funding amounting to USD215.80-million.
  • Study and Preparation of a drinking water supply and sanitation programme, funded with USD5.72-million.
  • Ring Road Project, backed by funding totalling USD241.60-million.
  • Lake Chad Basin Regional Road Network Integration Project, funded with USD48.80- million.
  • Program for Integrated Development and Climate Change Adaptation in the Niger Basin, supported by USD9-million in funding.

On the sidelines of the regional office inauguration ceremony, the Bank Group signed a €203-million financing agreement with the Cameroon government for the Territorial Development and Private Sector Promotion Project in the Far North Region (https://apo-opa.co/44c6TnI).

This project, which will benefit more than four million people, will foster regional development, improve the transport system, and promote private sector growth, with the potential to develop a sustainable and integrated development hub in the Far North Region.

That region serves as a buffer zone between the Sahel and Central Africa and is a veritable sub-regional crossroads between three of the four countries in the Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad), plagued by crises that are distinct but closely related.

The African Development Bank’s portfolio for Cameroon comprised 26 projects as of 1 April 2024, involving commitments of approximately USD2.5-billion. The primary areas of focus are transport (56.5%), energy (20.4%), and agriculture (10.5%).

Akin-Olugbade also held a meeting of the “Big 5”, a platform that coordinates the actions of Cameroon’s principal technical and financial partners, comprising the African Development Bank, the French Development Agency, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Union. Their dialogue focused on structural socio-economic reforms and finding ways to improve the effectiveness of investment projects within the country.

Infrastructure progress in Cameroon

Infrastructure progress in Cameroon
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Infrastructure progress in Cameroon

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