(Business in Cameroon) - On November 1, 2021, Minister of Public Works Emmanuel Nganou Djomumessi organized a videoconference with Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo and local executives of the World Bank, which is the government’s financial partner for the renovation of the 52km Babadjou-Bamenda highway. During the meeting, parties discussed the said highway, and the World Bank executives conditioned the relaunch of construction works on the elaboration of a safety management plan.
According to the Ministry of Public Works’ communication department, the parties agreed that the government will send a safety management plan to the partner detailing the measures initiated for the protection of workers and equipment before works are relaunched.
The safety guarantees required by the Bretton Woods institution on this road, which opens onto the Enugu (Nigeria)-Bamenda (Cameroon) corridor, concern mainly the 17-kilometer Matazem-Bamenda axis abandoned by Sogea-Satom in early 2020 for safety reasons.
Indeed, in 2017, Sogea-Satom was chosen to renovate the Babadjou-Bamenda highway, which was in a dilapidated state. However, in September of that same year, the company suspended works due to attacks on its equipment and threats to its staff by armed separatists, who have been terrorizing the South-West and North-West since late 2016.
It resumed works months later after a slight improvement of the security situation. However, on January 14, 2020, after a deadly attack a week earlier, it suspended works and withdrew from the site. On October 6, 2021, Cameroon launched a tender procedure to recruit a new contractor for the road section.