Case Study: Transport – The CEMAC Trade Corridor Project

Background

To Improve the effi ciency of trade and transport activities in the CEMAC 26 region the CEMAC Trade Corridor project was approved by member states in 2006. Transport costs in central Africa are among the highest on the African continent 27.
For Chad and Cameroon, these costs represent approximately 52% and 33% of the value of exports respectively. Before the CEMAC Transport and Trade Facilitation project freight transport from Douala in Cameroon, the main port and regional gateway, took 15 days to N’Djamena in Chad and 10 days to Bangui, Central African Republic. Port delays could add up to an additional 28 days.
The goal of the project is to facilitate effi cient regional trade among CEMAC member states and improve access to world markets.

Role of involved parties

Good collaboration between donors was a key for effective project preparation. The project is funded through parallel financing arrangement by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Commission (EC), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the World Bank (WB). At project preparation stage, AfDB and WB formed a joint framework to share and ex- change technical expertise for the project de- sign. An informal consultation group was formed and an MOU was prepared between these four donors. At regional level, the three participating countries, Cameroon CAR and Chad, formed a steering committee using the CEMAC frame-work for project coordination. At country level, a lead ministry was appointed to coordinate multi-sector issues with other line ministries and parastatals.

Funding and timelines

The project is at early stage of its implementa- tion and only two donors have concluded fund-
ing agreements. In June 2007, the World Bank approved a $201 million fi nancial package for
the three-country project. In February 2007, the AfDB signed $67 million grant agreements with CEMAC and the Central African Republic and will to sign another loan agreement for $76 million in 2008.

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