The government of Cameroon has secured fresh funding from the People’s Republic of China to spearhead development projects in the country and hopefully better peoples’ living conditions. Economy, Planning and Regional Development Minister, Louis Paul Motaze on July 28-29, 2016 in Beijing signed four different agreements to this effect with Chinese financiers. This was within the sidelines of a Coordinators’ meeting on the implementation of the follow up actions of the 2015 Johannesburg summit on China-Africa cooperation.
One of the agreements concerns a loan worth 302,944,727 US dollars (about FCFA 181 billion) for the construction of a hydroelectricity dam on Bini à Warak in the Adamawa Region. The project, which Minister Louis Paul Motaze said is within the three-year contingency plan being pursued by government, will upon completion produce a 560hm3 dam with an installed energy capacity of 75 MW and a 225Kv energy transmission line. Quizzed on when field work is expected to begin, the Minister said financing had been the major drawback and “with it already secured, there is no time to waste.”Another agreement concerns a 100 million Yuan (about FCFA nine billion) gift, without counterpart funding required to carry out feasibility studies for the construction of a new building for Cameroon’s National Assembly. The second face of the Kribi Deep Seaport project also got attention from the donors.
A one billion Yuan (about FCFA 90 billion) cooperation agreement was equally signed to ease the mobilization of funding for the project. “This money is not for the construction of the project but to make the financing that we will receive sustainable,” Minister Motaze told Cameroon Tribune. In essence, this is to secure a preferential loan with Eximbank China for phase two of the project. Meanwhile, the fourth agreement was reached between Cameroon and a local Chinese bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), for the latter to facilitate Cameroon’s loan acquisition, when need be, in China.
These funds fall in line with China’s new cooperation framework with Africa further deepened in 2015 in South Africa when Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a 60 billion dollars funding line in ten different cooperation areas with the African continent. The Minister disclosed that Cameroon is leaving nothing to chance in drafting feasible and susceptibly life-changing projects so as to tap maximum benefit from the new financing window. “We have many agreements in the pipeline. “Energy transmission lines from Douala to Yaounde, Memve’ele to Yaounde, e-education, rural electrification with Huawei etc are just some of the agreements underway,” he noted. Prior to evaluation meeting, Minister Motaze and other delegation leaders from 53 African countries in attendance held an in-camera session with China’s Vice President, Li Yuanchao.