Standard Chartered Bank has announced a 133 million euros in Export Credit Agency (ECA)-supported financing to the Ministry of Public Works of the Republic of Cameroon. The funds is intended to reconstruct the country’s road infrastructure and improve the flow of trade with the countries that are geographically adjacent to Cameroon.
The funding will enable the extension of the National Road N°3, which leads to the eastern entrance to Douala, a seaside city in the southwest of Cameroon. This expansion will take place in close collaboration with UKEF, the UK’s ECA.
Douala is the country’s economic center, the capital of the Littoral Region, and an important trading center due to the favorable port facilities that it has.
The 8.9-kilometer section of main road serves as an important commercial link for the landlocked countries of Chad and the Central African Republic. It also provides access to the rural areas of Cameroon from the area where ships dock.
Other advantages of the recently renovated road include pedestrian crossings and intersections that are more secure and better lit, an increase in tourism, job opportunities for local residents, and a subsequent reduction in the degree of poverty in the community.
Standard Chartered has been the only company to take on the role of Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA), and it also served as the Structuring Bank.
The contract to design and build the roadway was given to the engineering and construction company in Canada known as Magil Construction Corporation.
Standard Chartered structured the loan to support the Ministry of Public Works’ compliance with the eleventh Sustainable Development Goal established by the United Nations, which is to ensure that cities and human settlements are inclusive, safe, and resilient.
Standard Chartered, in its role as MLA, took responsibility for ensuring that the project complied with all applicable international environmental standards and social norms.
Mustafa Sajjad Hussain, Executive Director, Structured Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “We are very pleased to support the Republic of Cameroon by structuring a competitive financing package to deliver critical infrastructure in the country. The newly restored road will bring social and economic benefits to Douala’s inhabitants and communities in the surrounding areas, helping to build long-term sustainable growth in central Africa.”
Mike Freer Member of UK Parliament, Minister for Exports, said: “Africa is the most exciting continent on which to do business. That’s why this government worked so quickly to ensure trade agreements were rolled over and exports could continue unabated. This new deal backed by UK Export Finance is a huge boost to the UK’s growing trade with Cameroon. It will help keep the wheels of trade turning and provide opportunities for British companies to sell their world class expertise to the world.”
Ralph Tropea, Executive Advisor, Magil Construction Corporation said: “We applaud the vision of the Republic of Cameroon for launching this project and commend the financial support and multidisciplinary assistance provided by Standard Chartered and UKEF. We, at Magil Construction Corporation, are proud builders of this project that targets economic growth. Magil is aligned with the respect of environmental and social standards of the project. Acceptability by the surrounding communities and sustainable growth are in harmony on the NR3.”