Sub-regional integration in the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) will soon witness a new impetus with the extension of Cameroon railway line from Ngaoundéré to N’Djamena, Chad. Feasibility studies in view of realising the 800km railway line were at the centre of discussion during the fourth session of the Cameroon-Chad Railway Project that held in Yaounde on January 16, 2018 co-presided over by Cameroon’s Minister of Transport, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o and the Chadian Minister of Infrastructure, Disenclavement and Civil Aviation, Adoum Younousmi.
The extension of the railway from Ngaoundéré (Cameroon) to N’Djamena (Chad) to complete the Douala-N’Djamena railway corridor will be funded by the African Development Bank to the tune of about FCFA 5000 billion. Studies for the infrastructure, which will enhance sub-regional integration by facilitating the movement of goods and persons will soon begin with the selection of a consultant and technical management assistance for the project.
Cameroon’s Minister of Transport, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o and the Chadian Minister of Infrastructure, Disenclavement and Civil Aviation, Adoum Younousmi both stressed the importance of the project, which the two Heads of State, Presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon and Idris Derby of Chad decided on the project and created the joint commission in 2014.
Minister Mebe Ngo’o called for quick and coordinated actions in order to avoid unnecessary delays which can affect the realisation of the project. The present economic and financial situation of the sub-region, characterised by the conclusion of Extended Credit Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June 2017 by both countries should rather necessitate fast action for the realisation of the transport infrastructure, which will boost economic activity between both countries. The completion of the Douala-N’Djamena railway corridor will mark a leap in fostering sub-regional integration especially coming just a few months after Heads of State of the CEMAC Zone unanimously approved the free movement of persons and goods in the sub-region, which is now effective.