Worth FCFA 75 billion, 659 million, the documents were signed…
The first agreement amounts to FCFA 42.6 billion. The loan agreement is meant to carry out works in three regional capitals: Bertoua, Bafoussam and Garoua. In these towns the population wails over the bad state of roads, housing, water supply and other infrastructure. In Bertoua basic infrastructure is absent. Bafoussam, headquarters of the West region, one of the cities to host the African Cup of Nations in 2019 is below standards to host such a tournament. This money will help to upgrade the town to a level befitting to welcome visitors from across the African continent and beyond. These works will add to those earmarked in these towns within the triennial emergency plan which is slowly and surely progressing.
Worth FCFA 29.5 billion, the second loan accord will be used to build a new access road to the second bridge over River Wouri in Douala, opening up of the petroleum depot (SCDP) roundabout in Douala and building an underground rail in the port of Douala.
When the President of the Republic was in Douala on November 14, 2013 to lay the foundation stone over the Wouri Bridge, experts welcomed the initiative but indicated it would fail to solve the traffic jam problem if the two bridges open up to the existing small roads. Government is therefore reacting positively to the criticism.
Still in Douala residents and town planning experts decried the closeness of the population to the petroleum depot. Moreover, the roundabout is a traffic nightmare especially during rush hours. It is small in respect to the traffic it accommodates. The headache of the population could soon be over. In an attempt to ease transportation of goods to and from the port, and modernise railway infrastructure, a line will run underground.
Meanwhile, the third agreement of FCFA 3.3 billion targets agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs owners complain about lack of funds to expand or even start off their businesses. Agricultural ventures are high risk businesses, arm-twisting most banks too back-off from according loans to such enterprises. Government is therefore weighing in with the help of France to help these SMEs.
The final agreement of FCFA 655 million is a subvention package on investments by the Diaspora. In several trips abroad, compatriots living in foreign countries with a desire to come back home or invest continue to ask for a helping hand in their re-insertion endeavors in Cameroon. Though, the accord carries the smallest envelope it shows government’s good intention.