The Department of Housing and Urban Development also plans to transfer a budget of 900 million CFA francs to local municipalities in 2012 for the maintenance and repair of roads. In addition, 11.7 billion CFA francs will be allocated to 30 road projects and 5.9 billion CFA francs will help road construction in 37 cities.
Eximbank loans 241 billion CFA francs to finance Douala-Yaoundé motorway With an interest rate of 2% over 20 years, with a seven-year grace period, the loan from the Chinese bank will finance Phase I of the project, which involves an 80 km link between Yaoundé and Bot-Makak.
In late October 2011, the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Planning (MINEPAT) set out to secure a loan of 241 billion CFA francs for the construction of the first phase of the highway between Douala and Yaoundé. Eximbank of China responded favourably, as it was satisfied by the quality and the assurances concerning the project.
The contract for the design and implementation over a period of 48 months of the Yaoundé-Douala highway was signed on 8 August 2011 between the Minister of Public Works and the general manager of China First Highway Engineering Company Limited (CFHECL), a unit of the China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC).
During the negotiations, the Chinese company committed to facilitate the funding of the project. Ministry officials were assured that Eximbank, which was involved during the negotiations between the Government and the Chinese company, would finance the project.
Since signing the contract with CFHECL, the Chinese company has established itself in Cameroon, thus allowing it to further research the project. Some essential decisions have been made on the final route of the motorway. The previous choice of the Yaounde-DoualaBafoussam loop was abandoned in favour of a different scheme: Yaounde-Yingui in Nkam and Yingui-Bafoussam. This solution has the advantage of reducing the total length of the motorway and bringing down the construction costs.
Now that the first phase has secured funding, the Cameroon government will turn its attention to the two remaining phases of the project. The European Union, which funded the redevelopment of the existing Yaoundé-Douala road, is currently gathering information on the proposed new motorway.
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Prime Minister Philemon Yang signed a decree on AGOA, the United States law on growth and economic opportunity in Africa, on 30 January.
This law, passed in 2000 by the American Congress, helps to promote trade between Africa and the United States of America. The AGOA agreement has existed for several years, but unfortunately up till now, Cameroon has not been able to reap much benefit from it.
However, the foreign trade balance between the two countries now shows a surplus in favour of Cameroon after five consecutive years of deficits. The trade surplus was 25 billion CFA francs in 2010, against a deficit of 47.8 billion CFA francs the previous year. But this increase is mainly due to soaring oil exports.
This decree creates a Technical Committee to coordinate, monitor and support all actions necessary to benefit from AGOA in Cameroon. The Committee, which reports to the Prime Minister, has representatives from the various administrations in trade, industry, agriculture, transport and finance. It also has members from elected representatives of the private sector (GICAM, ECAM and Chamber of Commerce).
One of its missions is to attract US investors and to develop synergies between governments and agencies involved in the implementation of AGOA. It will mainly work on a development plan to increase exports from Cameroon to the USA. Motomby Ndumbe Joseph, Director of Foreign Trade, said that “AGOA, which concerns raw materials and agriculture, offers a unique opportunity for Cameroon to increase the volume of its exports and improve its trade balance.”
Life insurance In 2010, income from life insurance in Cameroon reached 31 billion CFA francs against 28.5 billion in 2009, an increase of 9%. Life insurance offers excellent prospects for growth as it represents only 24.3% of the total insurance market against 28.5% in 2009 and 22.7% in 2008.
Individual insurance accounted for 50.6% of turnover and group insurance 48.1%. Financial income from life insurance investments provided 2.7 billion CFA francs in 2010 against 3.9 billion in 2009. It represented 8.7% of turnover.
These figures show the life insurance market in Cameroon has experienced a slight improvement in recent years. The emergence of pension requirements, and the need to provide for the family in cases of accident, disability or death are not the only explanation. There is an effective presence in the market of strong commercial agents selling more diversified insurance products (education, retirement and funeral expenses cover) and pension plans to individuals, as well as to their employers.
Young farmers The Support Programme for young farmers, known as PIAJA, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will this year enable 162 young people to settle in nine agricultural areas of land distributed throughout the country. Of these, 50 young people have been trained in agricultural colleges, while 112 are unemployed young people with a keen interest in farming.
The Support Programme will assist these young people by helping them to become good professional farmers. If they don’t have already their own land, the state will provide them with farming land.
In 2012, a budget of 900 million CFA francs has been allocated for the development of agricultural land. Since its implementation in 2006, the Support Programme has already benefited 1,800 young farmers.
Road works in Douala Road works are well under way on 10 projects in the economic metropolis of Douala and are already 80% complete.
The project involves the maintenance of roads, the repair of some boulevards, and the renovation of cobblestone streets of secondary and tertiary quality as well as the stabilisation of landslides and drains. The works are funded directly by the City of Douala to the extent of 3 billion CFA francs. g