By Abdul Rahman Bangura-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- Construction of this bridge is component of the Regional Trade and Transport Facilitation Project for the economic corridor between Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The bridge building is part of the Regional Trade and Transport Facilitation Project for the economic corridor between Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The support consists of two separate loans: the first of EUR 48.96 million, from the AfDB and the second, of EUR 24.48 million, from the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional loans window.
The bridge will connect Campo, in Cameroon to Rio Campo, in Equatorial Guinea, will not only enhance the service level for the transport logistics chain along the corridor between Yaoundé, Bata and Libreville, but will likewise contribute to the coming of industrial-port activities intersection in the area between the deep-water port in Kribi (Cameroon) and its counterpart in Bata (Equatorial Guinea).
Practically, 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 favorable conditions for promoting an industrial-port activities hub in the same area, and improving the living conditions of various populations, comprising women, young people and
vulnerable groups in its area of influence.
“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 AfDB’s Director General for Central Africa and head of its Country Office in Cameroon.
The corridor casts 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, containing economic transport corridors, and to carry out 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 facilitated Central African nations to carry out diverse projects that are provoking a substantial boost in intra-community trade, as well as enhancing regional integration within CEMAC and ECCAS. The Bank has undertaken an extensive
program of sponsorship for program development of the industrial-port activity program in Kribiy allocating preliminary studies for the project to build a bridge over the River Ntem and working with the administration of a large-scale program to open up the Autonomous Port of Kribi (PAK). Among other things, implementing this program will enable the refurbishment of the section of road
between Edéa and programming an express route between Kribi and Campo, building several pieces of socioeconomic infrastructure for neighboring populations and contributing to the implementation of the Socioeconomic Support Programme (PASEK) instigated by the PAK.
Implementing the project, which is cofounded 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.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent