(Business in Cameroon) - Yesterday October 12, in Yaounde, the World Bank Group and the government of Cameroon signed three loan agreements totaling close to XAF236.5 billion, the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) reveals. According to the Bretton Woods institution, the funds will finance three projects aimed at respectively boosting food security in the three northern regions, promoting equitable access to quality secondary education and vocational training as well as empowering women and teen girls.
The three projects concerned are namely the VIVA Benoué initiated to develop and enhance investments in the Benue Valley, the Cameroonian component of SWEDD2 (Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend), and PADESCE, a support project for the development of the secondary sector and skills for growth and employment. For VIVA Benue, the parties signed a XAF117.9 billion agreement against XAF45 billion for SWEDD2 and a little over XAF73.7 billion for PADESCE.
“The progress achieved by Cameroon in recent years is threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Through these projects, we are committing to strengthening our partnership to improve the living condition of millions of Cameroonians and support the country in its path towards a green, sustainable and inclusive recovery,” said Abdoulaye Seck, the World Bank’s country director in Cameroon.
Credible sources reveal that the three agreements should have been signed on September 13, 2021, during the working of Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice President for West and Central Africa, in Cameroon. However, for reasons still not disclosed, the signing ceremony was postponed. A fourth agreement related to the project for electrical interconnection between Cameroon and Chad (RIS-RIN) is still expected.
The three new agreements included, the World Bank group’s project portfolio in Cameroon now includes 18 national and three regional projects. Its overall commitment in the framework of all those projects is US$2.9 billion (XAF1649.8 billion). The financial commitments are backed by an extensive technical support program. According to the Bretton Woods institution, “Those projects and programs promote economic growth in the country with the implementation of economic reforms, trade diversification initiatives, as well as the development of agriculture livestock, energy, transport, health, education, and social protection for the most vulnerable.”
Brice R. Mbodiam