The bank’s officials met with the press during their traditional monthly exchange in which they revealed a transport sector development strategic plan will soon be developed. Cameroon and the World Bank entertains a cordial bilateral relations thanks to President Biya’s diplomatic prowess. Recently, the bank donated over 152 billion to support refugees in Cameroon.
The World Bank is carrying out a series of projects in the country with the transport sector occupying the pride of place as three projects are ongoing. This explains why the transport sector was the focus of discussion on Tuesday May 15 in Yaounde during the monthly meeting between the Resident Representative of the bank, Elisabeth Huybens and her collaborators on the one hand and journalists on the other.
The three giant projects notably CEMAC Transportation and Trade Facilitation project approved in 2007, covers the Central Africa Republic, Chad and Cameroon (Douala-Bangui corridor and Douala-N’Djamena Corridor. Another project in the maritime transport sector is the support to trade activities at the Douala Seaport with the objective of reducing clearance time and facilitating transit of goods from the port to the different markets. The whole idea here is to render the Douala seaport more competitive.
In the road transport sub-sector, the rehabilitation of the Babadjou-Bamenda road also features in the World Bank list of projects. Though effective work has not started due to what the World Bank official, Peter Taniform described as procedural delays, the bank aims at improving transport efficiency and safety on the section of the road as well as reduce travel time. The contractor is on the site, but procedural bottlenecks such as displacing public utilities and establishing a quarry site are blamed for the delay in the start of the project.
Also, the 205 km Mora-Dabanga-Kousseri road expected to cost FCFA 61 billion is now being reconstructed by the Military Engineering corps after a Chinese firm abandoned the job due to Boko Haram perpetrated attacks in the Far North Region. The World Bank is putting in FCFA 46 billion into the project that aims at facilitating transport and transit activities along the Douala-N’Djamena corridor.
It was also revealed during the exchange that the World Bank is sponsoring another project worth 46 million US dollar (about FCFA 25.4 billion) to the security and safety situation in the four international airports in the country. The objective is to accelerate conformity to international safety norms. From the discussions, the World Bank officials said a transport sector strategic plan will soon be developed which will serve as a blueprint for the development of the sector in the country. A study to produce a transport sector data base, which will guide the government in policy drafting, is also envisaged.