AfDB approves US $3.04-million grant for road and bridge construction feasibility studies in Central Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Monday, November 1, 2016, approved a US $3.04-million grant to assist the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to undertake studies for the Kribi-Campo-Baba Multinational Road and Bridge linking Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea.

The grant, funded through the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF), a multi-donor Special Fund administered by the AfDB, will finance detailed studies and engineering designs for the construction of a bridge over the Ntem River and its access roads linking the Republics of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. The project also includes the construction of a one-stop border post and the implementation of trade facilitation measures along the Transport Corridor linking Yaoundé in Cameroon, Bata in Equatorial Guinea and Libreville in Gabon.

Commenting on the grant approval, ECCAS Secretary General Ambassador Ahmad Allam-Mi said, “This will definitely strengthen bilateral cooperation between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, open up economic opportunities, and drive further infrastructure development and improvement in the region. The anticipated benefits with reduced transit and transport costs and time, will with no doubt positively impact the lives of the 121 million people in the ECCAS community.”

The Kribi-Campo-Baba road is one of the major corridors identified in the Central Africa’s Transport Master Plan to improve competitiveness, provide integration and trade opportunities in the region. The project is also a key component of the Priority Action Plan (PIDA-PAP), of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), approved by African Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa in January 2012, intended to integrate and interconnect Africa’s infrastructure networks. The Kribi-Campo-Bata road is also part of the PIDA Transport sector programme “Interconnecting Central Africa Capitals.”

“This grant will help fill the missing links in Central Africa, create logistic chains and boost economic activities along this major road corridor in the region by supporting well-prepared feasibility studies,” said Shem Simuyemba, NEPAD-IPPF Division Manager. “NEPAD-IPPF is determined to continue to be a key contributor the new priorities of the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina – the High-5s – which are, Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Accessible and efficient infrastructure is key to the continent’s transformation.”

The studies, which include environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA), are expected to be completed by July 2017. They are expected to facilitate subsequent financing and implementation of the important project, which will also benefit local populations by opening the region to productive economic activities by improving access, mobility and reducing travel times and costs.

NEPAD-IPPF is a multi-donor Special Fund hosted by the AfDB, which supports African countries to prepare regional infrastructure projects in energy, transport, ICT and transboundary water. It is currently supported by several donors, including Canada, Germany, UK, Spain, Norway and Denmark. Since 2005, NEPAD-IPPF has prepared over 60 regional infrastructure projects, half of which have reached financial closure resulting in investment financing of over US $7 billion, responding directly to Africa’s integration and development efforts.

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