(Business in Cameroon) - In Cameroon, the launch of a project aimed at extending the local railway towards Ndjamena, Chad, is being delayed by administrative slowness, according to regional tri-weekly L'œil du Sahel.
The tri-weekly informs that in 2017, the AfDB agreed to fund the feasibility studies (about XAF4 billion) of this project. Then, the Ministries of Economy and Transport compiled a dossier that was presented to the National Public Debt Committee (CNDP), before being transmitted to the Presidency of the Republic.
Since then, we learn, the decree that should authorize the government to sign the loan agreement with the AfDB is yet to be issued.
On the Chadian side, however, everything is ready for the AfDB’s funding and the launch of the feasibility studies of the project.
Tired of this 3-year wait, Chad, in its desire to connect to the railroad and thus open up its territory, was looking for other alternatives. In that regard, it recently signed an agreement with Sudan for the construction of a railway line connecting Port Sudan and Ndjamena. According to our sources, this project should be carried out with the financial and technical assistance of China.
At the same time, in January 2020 in Bamako (Mali), Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad validated the feasibility studies for a gigantic railway project that will connect these five countries.
According to sources close to the case, even if for the time being the Chad-Cameroon is not yet jeopardized by these projects, they still constitute a threat.
As a reminder, in addition to its integrative status at the sub-regional level, the Chad-Cameroon railway project is a source of hope for the populations of the three northern regions of Cameroon (North, Adamaoua, and the Far North). It is an ideal opportunity to open up these regions, ranked as the poorest in the country.
Brice R. Mbodiam