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Thursday, October 24, 2019

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Cameroon seeks nearly $650 million seaport construction loan from China as U.S. warns against money from Beijing

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Amos Fofung
Amos Fofung
AMOS FOFUNG Nkunchoh is a multi-talented journalist with an intrinsic passion for investigative, politics and conflict reporting. He's based in the U. S.A.

Cameroon is once again soliciting hundreds of millions of dollars from China at a time the United States is warning that billions of dollars from China may leave many African nations into an unsurmountable debt trap.

Cameroon wants 387.6 billion FCFA or nearly $650 million from China’s Eximbank to enable the Central African nation fund the construction of phase II of the Kribi deep seaport.

A note from the major projects’ preparation team at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development indicates that the project will be co-funded by to a grand total of 456.7 billion FCFA ($764 million).

“The second phase of the construction of the Kribi port is estimated at 456.7 billion FCFA. It will be jointly funded by Eximbank China (85%, or 387.6 billion FCFA) and concessionaires (15%). To date, the funding agreements’ elaboration procedure is being finalized,” the team reveals.

In the meantime, the construction field is being set up. Maritime and terrestrial investigations, as well as dredging, are being conducted with artificial ripraps and quay trenches being prefabricated, according to Business in Cameroon.

During the second phase, the construction of a second container terminal with a 700-meter quay (350 meters for the second), a ferry terminal and an oil storage terminal are planned. 

According to the ministry of economy, works for the first phase, required $574 million (about 330 billion FCFA) instead of the $497 million (close to 285.7 billion FCFA) planned initially and was 85% funded by a loan from Eximbank China.

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