Decentralisation Boost: 270 Civil Engineering and Hydraulic Machines to Equip Cameroonian Communes

In a significant step towards local development and decentralisation, the Cameroonian government has secured financing for the acquisition of 270 civil engineering and hydraulic machines.

The financing agreements were signed on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Yaoundé, by the Minister of Economy, Planning, and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey, alongside senior representatives from Standard Chartered Bank, Eximbank USA, and Private Export Funding Corporation.

This initiative marks a new chapter in the decentralisation and local development efforts in Cameroon. The signing ceremony for the financing agreements for the creation of an inter-municipal park of civil engineering and hydraulic equipment was attended by numerous high-profile personalities.

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These included ministers from various departments such as Economy, Finance, Decentralisation, Public Works, and Water Resources, as well as the US Ambassador to Cameroon, Christopher John Lamora, the High Commissioner of Great Britain to Cameroon, the Director General of FEICOM, the President of the United Communes and Cities of Cameroon (CVUC), the Director General of Standard Chartered Bank Cameroon, the President of the American company Hoffmann, and several mayors.

The US Ambassador praised the strong turnout, highlighting the importance Cameroonian authorities place on the decentralisation process.

Three financing agreements were signed during the ceremony. The first agreement is a credit facility of approximately 43.7 billion FCFA guaranteed by Eximbank USA. The second is a commercial loan of about 11.3 billion FCFA. The third involves a retrocession agreement between the Ministry of Finance (MINFI), FEICOM, and CVUC.

According to Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey, these agreements result from a proactive synergy between the government and the decentralized territorial collectivities (CTDs) within the CVUC organization.

“This appreciable approach is firmly in line with the ongoing process of transferring competences, focusing on public works, road maintenance, and potable water supply,” he stated.

The project, funded to the tune of 31.6 million US dollars (nearly 55 billion FCFA), aims to facilitate the exercise of competences transferred by the state to the communes in road maintenance and potable water supply. It is part of an ambitious government program estimated at 97.2 billion FCFA. The implementation plan includes the following:

  1. Setting up five zonal equipment bases in the country’s five agro-ecological zones: Tiko (Littoral, Southwest), Mfou (Centre, South), Mandjou (East, Adamawa), Koutaba (West, Northwest), and Maroua (North, Far North).
  2. Acquiring 270 civil engineering and hydraulic machines from the American company Hoffmann Equipment International, along with five mobile crushing stations tailored to each agro-ecological zone’s specifics.
  3. Establishing a mixed-economy company to manage the equipment park.
  4. Training technical staff in equipment use and maintenance.
  5. Providing equipment rental services to communes.

Minister of Decentralisation and Local Development Georges Elanga Obam emphasized that this initiative reinforces the credibility of Cameroon’s decentralisation model, driven by the President of the Republic.

It will promote inter-communal cooperation and address critical issues of road construction, maintenance, and potable water supply, which are central concerns for CTDs and communes. The project supports the CVUC’s “Communes of Production” concept, aiming to transform each municipality into a growth hub. CVUC National President Augustin Tamba advocated for continued CVUC-FEICOM-Government collaboration for effective project implementation. The first batch of equipment is expected to arrive in Cameroon by the end of 2024, according to FEICOM’s Director General.

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