(Business in Cameroon) - Road transport company United Express launched Monday the first direct route between Cameroon and Congo. Until now, the company only operated air-conditioned bus services between the Cameroonian cities of Yaoundé and Douala.
The new route is the very first experience of road passenger transport between two countries in the CEMAC region. According to the company, the 24-hour trips will first only take place on Mondays with a stop in the southern region of Sangmélima and a transfer at the border between Cameroon and Congo in the town of Ntam (Eastern Cameroon). The project is made possible through a partnership with Saint Denis Voyages (SDV), the Congolese transport company which will be responsible for picking up passengers at the border between the two countries and taking them to Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.
Fares for a Douala-Brazza trip are CFA75,000 for one-way and CFA130,000 for a round-trip while those for a trip between Yaoundé and Brazzaville are CFA70,000 (one-way) and CFA120,000 (round-trip), and those for a trip between Sangmélima and Brazzaville are CFA65,000 and CFA115,000. This transport option is a more affordable alternative to air transport, and contributes to better networking within the Cemac countries. It follows the completion of the Cameroonian section of the transborder road between Sangmelima in Cameroon and Ouesso in Congo in 2021. This section was considered the missing link in the Yaoundé-Brazzaville corridor, which is a crucial component of the alternative route from Windhoek (Namibia) to Tripoli (Libya), connecting the Central African Republic to Cameroon, Gabon, and facilitating interconnection with the Brazzaville-Pointe-Noire road in Congo.
The Cameroonian section of this road, which swallowed up over CFA205 billion, was co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Saudi Fund for Development, and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.