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China lends Cameroon 368 mn euros for road

Heavy earthmoving equipment works in 2010 on a 75km strategic dirt road built by the Cameroon army (© 2009 AFP)

Cameroon and China signed a large infrastructure deal Thursday that will see Beijing lend the African country 368 million euros to build its first new motorway since independence in 1960.

China’s Exim Bank will lend Cameroon 241.4 billion CFA francs (368 million euros, $451 million) for the first phase of a motorway between economic hub Douala on the western coast and capital city Yaounde in the centre, a statement said.

The 215-kilometre (135-mile), five-year road project will cost a total of 284 billion CFA francs, it said. Cameroonian officials did not say how the government planned to fund the remaining 15 percent.

Cameroon’s Economy Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi said the government had invited bids from Chinese companies.

The Exim Bank has become a major funder of African development projects as the Chinese economy has boomed.

The current link between the two cities is a two-lane road that is one of the deadliest in the country.

Signature : YAOUNDE (AFP)

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