The Kribi Deep Seaport and multiplicity of road projects feature prominently among New Deal’s chest-beating achievements.
The absence of transport infrastructure has often caused many regimes to crumble. The New Deal regime of President Paul Biya is quite aware of this and has since its inception worked tirelessly to improve on the country’s transport infrastructure. This political orientation is incidentally in response to the desires of the population. In effect, provision of good quality transport system is the cry of many. Get to the most remote areas or even to the most sophisticated cities of the country and one thing threads through minds; good roads.
The good thing is that the government is quite aware of the challenges. As of today, the percentage of the road in good shape out of the 122,2 kilometres of network has increased to 23. This certainly considered a good leap from the 18.1 percent two years ago. Despite the economic slowdown of the early 80s that seriously limited Cameroon’s financial resources, the New Deal regime has however succeeded in prioritizing transport infrastructure in all its development plans. This explains the exponential increase in annual bases in the budget of the Ministry of Public works, making it one of the highest in the country. All that is happening in the transport sector is in application of the country’s development plan streamlined in the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP).
As revealed during the last open door day organised by the Ministry of Public Work, government projects 8,500 km of paved roads by 2020. Up to 2009, 10 percent of Cameroon’s road network was paved; representing 5,250 km but this situation is expected to change for the better come 2020 as contained in the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper wherein the country gears at increasing the percentage of paved roads in to more than 17 percent. Transport projects already executed and those under execution focus on networks around localities with giant projects such as the Kribi Deep Seaport, the exploitation of iron in Mballam and promotion of trade in the CEMAC zone, through the construction of roads linking the country to member states.
The construction of the Sangmélima (Cameroon)-Ouésso (Congo Brazzaville) road is already well advanced. Besides tarred roads, Cameroon is also opening-up new earth roads and maintaining old ones. On August 20, 2013, Cameroon Minister of Public Contracts, Abba Sadou, published a bid for the paving of 80 kilometers of earth roads in areas with moderate traffic in the regions of Far North, Littoral, West and Southwest. The Bamenda-Mamfe-Ekok section of the Nigeria-Cameroon Highway Transport Facilitation Programme has been completed and is said to be seriously boosting trade between the two nations.
The Kribi Deep Seaport remains one of the major strides of the New Deal. Located 35 KM south of the seaside town of Kribi it consists of two terminals: a 265 m long multipurpose terminal with a capacity of 1.5 million tons and a 350 m long container terminal with a capacity of 350,000 EVP. The project is estimated at 568 million dollars, 85 percent of which is funded by the Exim bank of China and 15 percent by the Cameroon government. Once completed, it will help in decongesting the Douala main port.