Key Projects of Cameroon
Lom Pangar Dam
The Lom Pangar Dam scheme is an essential precondition to optimising both production of the Songloulou and Edea power stations and construction of other hydroelectric dams on the Sanaga River, including Nachtigal and Song Mbengue. Currently, 95 per cent of Camaroon’s power is generated through hydropower, but more than 50 per cent of people have no access to electricity. The project is estimated to cost XAF 220 billion (US$ 454 million), with the World Bank providing funding of $100 million. Wind energy is also an area due for development in the Mount Bamboutos area, with hydroelectric plants planned in Bini à Warak, Njock on the Nyong River and in Menchum.
C&K Mining: Mobilong Diamond Field
Diamond exploitation is another resource sector adopted by the state in a bid to diversify Cameroon’s oil-dependent economy. In January 2013, production began in the country’s first industrial diamond mine, Mobilong Ore. The government holds a joint stake in C&K Mining Corporation with South Korea. Funding will total XAF 500 billion ($1 billion), with 80 per cent derived from C& K Mining and 20 per cent state financed. Other corporations holding exploration permits for concessions in the Mobilong field include Botswana Diamond.
Launched in 2003, the Vision Cameroon 2035 development plan, aims to chiefly bring about economic ‘prosperity’ and ‘universal access to quality social services’. In a climate of limited public capital, multi-stakeholder partnerships form an increasingly important factor in this economic vision, whether private actors, civil society organisation or donor organisations. Infrastructural development is sought by Cameroon through a ‘planned liberalism’approach. Vision 2035 articulated major infrastructure works requiring construction including dams, bridges, roads and housing.
In 2005-09, Cameroon established its policy framework for public-private partnerships. Subsequently, in 2013, the government released details of 21 projects to be financed and executed via PPPs, in the areas of transport, urban development, energy and the agro-food industry. Six of these have currently been awarded contracts, with private partners all drawn from expatriate nations – France, South Korea and South Africa. The government has indicated nations could be enlisted as sub-contractors. Large infrastructural projects completed via PPP models include highways, ports and shopping malls. The government is particularly keen to diversify the republic’s economy from its present dependence on oil.
Part of the challenge is attracting private investment to a country where high customs duties have discouraged capital investment.
Tax exemption methods have now been implemented to mediate this – in 2009 the Cameroon Business Forum simplified procedures to improve the business climate. Persistent corruption has also been a significant factor in the discouragement of both domestic and international investment, an issue the government has sought to expel through the National Anti-Corruption Commission (established 2006) and the National Agency for Financial Investigation (2005)