Cameroon(National Times)-The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the sum of €17.96 million loan to Cameroon to help finance the construction of the Bamenda Ring-Road Project in the North West Region of the country.
The tarring of this Bamenda Ring Road was announced over 33 years ago when President Paul Biya visited Bamenda and promised to personally supervise its construction.
Over three decades after the announcement of tarring the Bamenda Ring Road, observers and users of the road have affirmed that nothing has been done on it.
The intervention from the African Development Bank to finance the construction of the Ring Road is due to the numerous important of the Ring Road to the growth of the Region and Cameroon at large.
According to the AfDB, the North West Region has enormous economic potential, particularly in agriculture, which stands to benefit from the road. Other lucrative sectors include livestock and fisheries; tourism, particularly the spectacular natural landscapes such as the Menchum Falls, Lakes Awing, Oku and Nyos, the Mbengwi Caves.
The loan for the 365km Ring Road is the Bank’s third intervention in the implementation of this important road network rehabilitation and upgrading project.
The loop road crosses five of the seven Divisions of the North West Region and includes several links to the Nigerian border.
The Bamenda Ring Road Project, which falls under phase three of the country’s Transport Sector Support Programme, aims at improving the movement of goods and people. It will also strengthen the foundations for strong and sustainable growth by promoting domestic and regional trade.
The project will also include institutional support for the transport sector and related works such as the development of rural roads, the rehabilitation of socio-economic infrastructure for improving women and youth living conditions.
The Transport Sector Support programme under which the project falls is also consistent with Pillar I of the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2016-2020 for Cameroon, which focuses on strengthening infrastructure to support agricultural value chains for inclusive growth and aligns with the Bank’s High 5 priorities.
The project is also expected to have a positive impact on transportation – greatly reducing travel time ; increase in traffic of passenger and goods; foster job creation for women and lead to work for 30,000 youths. The road will result in savings on vehicle operating costs; increase in household income and reduction in post-harvest losses.
The total cost of phase one of the Transport Sector Support Programme is estimated at €255 million (XAF 167.270 billion). It will be implemented from December 2018 to June 2024, with the Bank’s co-financing loan of €179.60 million, an Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan of €42 million and the Government’s counterpart funding of €32.84 million.