WASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2011 – The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank today took another step toward economic integration in Central Africa by approving a US$112 million loan in additional funding for the CEMAC Transport/Transit Facilitation Project.
This program complements existing infrastructure works financed by the International Development Association (IDA) and the other donors on the two selected corridors: (i) Douala – N’Djamena (1,842 km); and (ii) Douala – Bangui (1,450 km) and it is part of the CEMAC Trade and Transport Facilitation Program adopted by CEMAC on March 11, 2006.
According to Nicolas Peltier, Task Team Leader, "This second additional financing will help improve road condition in Northern Cameroon, lowering transport costs between Cameroon and Chad. The objective is to reach 90% of the roads between Douala and Ndjamena in good or fair condition by 2016".
The program aims at reducing high transport costs and transit logistics inefficiencies that constitute main barriers to trade in the CEMAC sub-region as well as major transit bottlenecks such as poor physical infrastructure and non-physical barriers and transit logistics inefficiencies. Particular attention is paid to institutional strengthening activities that could result in a more effective implementation of safeguards measures and in improved road safety conditions.
Ms./Mr. Jane/John Doe, transitofficial at the Chad-Cameroon border, said that,"Through this project we also aim to improve road safety along the corridor. Some of the road sections currently are among the most dangerous in Africa with accident levels that are 35 times higher than for a similar road in Europe."
The proposed AF has two main components and also includes unallocated funds for an amount of US$14.7 million.
First component: Roads and Bridge Infrastructure Improvement and Road Safety in the Corridors (US$92.5 million). This component will contribute to finance the rehabilitation of the road Magada - Maroua whose design study has already been completed (financed by the European Union), the reconstruction of the Tilde bridge, a major bottleneck for transit in Northern Cameroon, as well as other spot interventions or rehabilitation works on other sections of the corridor. It will also finance road safety investments on the targeted corridors, using the conclusions from a road safety audit financed by the European Union on the Douala - Yaounde section and a similar road safety assessment on the rest of the corridors.
Second component: Transport Sector Institutional Strengthening and Operating Costs (US$4.8 million). This component will finance the project operating costs, capacity building and institutional strengthening activities in the transport and public work sectors. This include helping design and promoting sound road maintenance practices on the corridor.
Mr. Peltier emphasized that "The project aims at promoting sound road maintenance practices so that the very high levels of investments on the corridor are not lost but, rather, that the improved road condition can be sustained".