AFDB loans over EUR 73M for construction of Bridge over the River Ntem between Campo

Source: 11/30/2023, Location: Africa

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group on 29 November 2023 granted financial support of EUR 73.44 million to Cameroon for the construction of a bridge over the River Ntem, which forms a natural boundary with Equatorial Guinea. The bridge building is part of the Regional Trade and Transport Facilitation Project for the economic corridor between Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

The financial support consists of two separate loans: the first, of EUR 48.96 million, from the African Development Bank and the second, of EUR 24.48 million, from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional loans window.

The new bridge, which will link Campo, in Cameroon to Rio Campo, in Equatorial Guinea, will not only improve the service level for the transport logistics chain along the corridor between Yaoundé, Bata and Libreville, but will also contribute to the emergence of an industrial-port activities hub in the area between the deep-water port in Kribi (Cameroon) and its counterpart in Bata (Equatorial Guinea).

In practical terms, the project will contribute to increasing the volume of trade between the two countries; reducing travel time, shipping and transport costs along the Yaoundé-Bata-Libreville multinational corridor; creating favourable conditions for promoting an industrial-port activities hub in the same area, and improving the living conditions of various populations, including women, young people and vulnerable groups in its area of influence.

Implementation of the project is due to start in December 2023, with completion scheduled for November 2028.

“The African Development Bank is the leading partner for transport infrastructure development in Central Africa, in general, and Cameroon, in particular. The support provided by our institution aims, among other things, to expand and maintain existing road networks in countries in the sub-region and to accelerate regional integration,” declared Serge N’Guessan, the Bank’s Director General for Central Africa and head of its Country Office in Cameroon.

The corridor forms part of the Transport Master Plan for Central Africa (PDCT-AC), adopted under the aegis of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Among other things, the master plan aims to link the economic and/or political capitals of the Community’s member states via tarmacked roads, including economic transport corridors, and to implement the road projects developed by AUDA, the African Union Development Agency.

The project is also one of the priority operations of the third five-year stage (2021-25) of the “Economic Infrastructure and Territorial Development” component of the Regional Economic Programme being implemented by the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

The Bank’s interventions have enabled Central African countries to implement several projects that are prompting a significant increase in intracommunity trade, as well as strengthening regional integration within CEMAC and ECCAS. The Bank has embarked on a vast programme of support for the development of the industrial-port activities area in Kribi, by funding preliminary studies for the project to build a bridge over the River Ntem and working with the government of Cameroon on a large-scale programme to open up the Autonomous Port of Kribi (PAK). Among other things, implementing this programme will enable the refurbishment of the section of road between Edéa and Kribi, creating an express route between Kribi and Campo, building several pieces of socioeconomic infrastructure for neighbouring populations and contributing to the implementation of the Socioeconomic Support Programme (PASEK) instigated by the PAK.

Implementing the project, which is co-funded with other technical and financial partners, including the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC), will help speed up the process of ratifying the agreement creating the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), signed by Cameroon on 2 July 2019.

The project is in line with the African Development Bank’s Long-Term Strategy for 2023-28 and is connected to the following “High 5” operational priorities, namely “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa”. It is also aligned with the Central Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper (RISP-CA) 2019-25, whose mid-term review is currently underway.

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