(Business in Cameroon) - The Saudi Fund for Development has agreed to invest in two road projects in northern Cameroon. These projects involve the construction of the Sorawel-Guider-Mayo Oulo-Dourbeye road spanning 78 km, with an estimated cost of CFA46.7 billion, and the extensive rehabilitation of the Ngaoundéré-Garoua road, covering over 240km, at an estimated cost of CFA233.3 billion.
Discussions regarding the financing of these two significant infrastructure projects took place on October 17, 2023, between the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, and a delegation from the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), led by Abdulrahman Albarbi. It is worth noting that the two parties had previously convened on April 11, 2023, in connection with these same projects. Official sources have confirmed that the SFD reiterated its commitment to financing the projects but it remains uncertain whether there have been any developments between the two meetings.
As it currently stands, the Saudi Fund for Development has expressed interest in the entire 78-kilometer stretch of the first project and the Salak-Garoua bridge section of the second project. Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi explained that the Salak-Garoua bridge section was chosen due to its substantial deterioration. However, discussions between the Ministry of Public Works and the SFD have explored potential strategies that could lead to the complete funding of this section of National Highway No. 1, with the participation of other donors.
The two road projects, integrated into the 2023-2025 medium-term expenditure framework, hold immense significance for the national economy. The Ngaoundéré-Garoua route, which has suffered severe deterioration over the years, constitutes a crucial segment of the Douala-Ndjamena corridor. This corridor facilitates the transit of Chadian goods worth around CFA350 billion annually. Simultaneously, the Sorawel-Guider-Mayo Oulo-Dourbeye road connects to Nigeria. The construction of these two essential road infrastructures is expected to bolster cross-border trade, enhance tax revenue, and contribute to increased port revenues.
Also, the Saudi Fund for Development is already actively supporting the Republic of Cameroon in the construction of the Bingambo-Grand Zambi section spanning 43 kilometers on National Highway No. 22, following their prior funding of the Ayos-Bonis, Olama-Bingambo, Bikoula-Djoum, and Foumban-Manki roads.