(Business in Cameroon) - The African Development Bank has approved a €17.96 million loan to the Republic of Cameroon to finance the construction of a Ring-Road Project in the North-West Province of the country.
The Ring Road project, which falls under phase three of the country’s Transport Sector Support Programme, aims to improve the movement of goods and people. It will also strengthen the foundations for strong and sustainable growth by promoting domestic and regional trade.
The loan for the 365 km Ring Road is the Bank’s third intervention in the implementation of this important road network rehabilitation and upgrading project. The loop road crosses five of Cameroon’s seven divisions of the North West Region and includes several links to the Nigerian border.
The project will also include institutional support for the transport sector and related works such as the development of rural roads, the rehabilitation of socio-economic infrastructure for improving women and youth’s living conditions.
The road project is in line with the government’s Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP) 2010-2020, to build an integrated and efficient transport network at low-cost that covers the entire country opening the country to neighbouring countries to effectively enhance economic growth and reduce poverty.
The Transport Sector Support programme under which the project falls is also consistent with Pillar I of the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2016-2020 for Cameroon, which focuses on strengthening infrastructure to support agricultural value chains for inclusive growth and aligns with the Bank’s High 5 priorities.
Cameroon’s northwestern region has enormous economic potential, particularly in agriculture, which stands to benefit from the road. Other lucrative sectors include livestock and fisheries; tourism, particularly the spectacular natural landscapes such as the Menchum Falls, Lakes Awing, Oku and Nyos, the Mbengwi Caves.
The project is also expected to have a positive impact on transportation - greatly reducing travel time ; increase in traffic of passenger and goods; foster job creation for women and lead to work for 30,000 youths. The road will result in savings on vehicle operating costs; increase in household income and reduction in post-harvest losses.
The total cost of phase one of the Transport Sector Support Programme is estimated at €255 million (XAF 167.270 billion). It will be implemented from December 2018 to June 2024, with the Bank’s co-financing loan of €179.60 million, an Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan of €42 million and the Government’s counterpart funding of €32.84 million.
At the end of August 2018, the Bank’s portfolio in Cameroon comprised 24 operations (18 national and five multinational operations) for total net commitments of €1,369.02 million. The public sector accounts for €1,218.03 million for 19 operations, while the private sector accounts for four projects valued at €150.99 million (Transport and ICT sectors account for 63% of the portfolio).
Since 1972, when the Bank started operations in Cameroon, it has participated in financing 28 transport sector operations.