The African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB) board of directors has approved financial assistance for the construction of a bridge over the Ntem River in Cameroon.

The bridge is part of the Regional Trade and Transport Facilitation Project, which aims to enhance economic connectivity along the corridor linking Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Gabon.

The €73.44m ($80.05m) financial assistance approved by the board comprises two loans, with the first amounting to €48.96m provided by the AfDB.

The second loan totals €24.48m and is from the African Development Fund, the concessional loan window of the group.

The project is scheduled to commence this month, with anticipated completion in November 2028.

By connecting Campo in Cameroon to Rio Campo in Equatorial Guinea, the bridge is expected to enhance the service level of the transport logistics chain along the Yaoundé-Bata-Libreville corridor.

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By GlobalData

It will also foster the development of an industrial port hub in the region between the deepwater port in Kribi, Cameroon, and its counterpart in Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

The project ultimately aims to boost trade volume between the two countries by reducing travel time, and shipping and transport costs along the Yaoundé-Bata-Libreville multinational corridor.

The corridor is part of the Central Africa Transport Master Plan adopted by the Economic Community of Central African States.

AfDB director general for Central Africa and Country Office head for Cameroon Serge N’Guessan said: “The African Development Bank is the leading partner for transport infrastructure development in Central Africa, in general, and Cameroon, in particular.

“The support provided by our institution aims, among other things, to expand and maintain existing road networks in countries in the subregion and to accelerate regional integration.”

The project is claimed to be a priority for the third five-year stage (2021-2025) of the Regional Economic Programme.