The African Development Bank (AfDB), also known as Banque Africaine de Développement (BAD) in French, has granted a loan of 2 million units of account to finance the study of the feasibility of extending the existing railway line between Cameroon and Chad republics, both of which are already linked by road.
The related agreement was signed in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, on Saturday the 20th of February 2021 between the Cameroonian Minister of Economy and Planning, Alamine Ousmane Mey, and the country representative of the AfDB. Also present were the Minister of Transport of the Republic of Cameroon and the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Chad.
The study is planned to be concluded in about 36 months.
Importance of the project
The railway line, in particular, will be extended from Ngaoundéré or N’Gaoundéré, the capital of the Adamawa Region in Cameroon, to N’Djamena, the capital and the largest city of Chad.
Identified as one of the projects of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) Regional Transport Infrastructure Development Program, this line, which has an integrative status, will complete the multimodal transport link between the two central African countries.
According to AfDB, it will also ease pressure on the road network (the Douala – N’Djamena corridor, where almost all of Chad’s imports and exports are shipped through,) and eliminate frequent unloading and reloading at the many legal and illegal checkpoints encountered by carriers.
“These negative factors drive up transport costs and ultimately the cost of goods transported to N’Djamena,” notes the AfDB.
On the Cameroonian side, the project is a bearer of hope for the populations of North, Adamaoua, and Far-North regions for it will open up the territories which are classified as the poorest in the country.