(Business in Cameroon) - On October 28, 2019, the Cameroonian minister of the economy Alamine Ousmane Mey and the AfDB’s director-general for the Central African region Ousmane Doré signed a XAF12 billion loan agreement in Yaoundé.
This loan is dedicated to technical studies for the asphalting of 356-km Ring Road that will connect the main towns of Northwestern Cameroon to Nigeria.
According to Alamine Ousmane Mey, these studies should be completed by early 2020. Only then should the actual construction begin. To finance this construction phase, the Cameroonian government has also requested a XAF155 billion loan from the AfDB. This brings the bank’s total funding for this project to XAF167 billion. In November 2019, the Board of Directors of the pan-African financial institution will deliberate on this loan request, the minister indicated.
"The Ring road forms a loop of Bamenda-Bambui-Ndo-Babessi-Kumbo-Nkambe-Misaje-Nyos-Wum-Bafut-Bamenda and includes several connections to the Nigerian border, including Misaje," Alamine Ousmane Mey explains.
On a strategic level, the Minister added, the interconnection project is aimed at developing the Northwestern region’s “significant economic potential.”
Ousmane Doré explains that Northwestern Cameroon is full of strong economic potential. On the agricultural level, the region's climatic conditions favour the development of crop and animal production, coffee, potatoes, maize, rice, cattle, goats and sheep notably. In terms of tourism, the region offers vast hilly mountain landscapes and well-preserved cultures and traditions. However, the major obstacle to developing all this potential is the quality of its road network.
In addition, Cameroon is connected to its Nigerian neighbour by only one paved road in good condition, namely, the Bamenda-Enugu road built with the financial contribution of the AfDB. "This axis can only be a real instrument to accelerate development and integration in the region if it is linked to a network of tracks whose base is the Ring Road," Ousmane Doré said.