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Construction of the Yaounde-Douala dual carriage way slowed by financial huddles

Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, Cameroon’s  Minister of Public Works brought together by video conference  officials of the China First Highway Engineering Company, the company in charge of the works of the Douala-Yaoundé highway, as well as the SCET control mission Tunisia.

The meeting also had representatives of the Ministry in charge of the Economy and the Debt Recovery Fund (CAA). The objective of this consultation meeting was to take stock of the availability of funding this project, the first phase of which (60km) will be delivered in December 2020.

“The exchange by video conference aimed to remove the constraints on the completion of this work. One of the main constraints being the non-disbursement of external funding which is 85% by Eximbank,  due to the non-payment of the financial compensation by the Cameroonian government.”

The Debt recovery fund  has however made arrangements for the payment of this consideration, the amount of which has not been disclosed.

While waiting for everything to come back to normal, the Companies China First Highway Engineering Company and SCET Tunisia which ensures the control of the works, accumulate arrears of payment of 4.3 billion FCFA and 700 million FCFA, or 5 billion FCFA in total respectively.

Government is also on the lookout for partners to sponsor the second phase of the project. Launched in March 2020 by the Minister of Public Works Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, the selected service provider must demonstrate his experience, expertise, interest, resources and potential as well as all the qualities necessary to carry out this project. The work to be carried out on this motorway section involves: five interchanges (Bodmon pk 99), Edéa Est (132), Logbadjeck pk 161, Dibamba Beach pk 182 and Douala pk 194. Two major crossing structures are also planned, notably construction from the bridge over the Dibamba 250 m, and the construction of the bridge over the Sanaga (500m). Three highway ramps are also planned connecting the highway to the national No 3 east of Edea, the Edea bypass to the west and Dibamba Beach.

The international public call for tenders  made public on March 04, 2020 reveals that the motorway section is located at the end of phase I currently under construction (Bibodi flyover) and the city of Douala, via Edéa , with a reference speed of 90 km / h. The approach advocated by the Ministry  is based on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), in order to make use of the expertise of the private sector.

 As far as the characteristics are concerned, the State provides for 2 × 2 lanes which can be extended inland later if traffic requires, 2 × 3 lanes. Two pavements of 7.50 m each, two emergency stop bands of 3 m in width, two left flared bands of 1 m each, a middle band of 9 meters, a half-mast on the outside side of 0.50 meters width, a rounding of a slope of 0.50 meters in width in fill or n drainage device in cut. Applications must be submitted to the Ministry of Public Works no later than May 21, 2020.

The Yaoundé-Douala highway is a modern road network of around 215 km between the two most important cities in the country, namely Yaoundé and Douala. The estimated cost of the works of the first phase varies from 284 to 337.84 billion FCFA according to the sources. Phase 1 of this motorway will make it possible to build a 2 x 2-lane, 3-lane, expandable highway over approximately 60 kilometers from kilometer point 0 to the Bibodi flyover. According to the World Bank, the cost of this highway is too high in comparison with other similar African projects. In a report published in 2018, the international financial institution reveals that the Yaoundé-Douala motorway will ultimately reach a cost of 11 million USD (nearly 6.5 billion FCFA) per kilometer when it is 3.5 million USD (around 2 billion FCFA) in Côte d’Ivoire and 3 million USD (almost 1.7 billion FCFA) in Morocco.