Cameroon secures $52m Spanish bank loan
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Cameroon secures $52m Spanish bank loan

Posted NDI EUGENE NDI in Yaoundé

on  Thursday, July 6   2017 at  15:53

Cameroon has secured $52 million (FCFA 30 billion) loan from the Deutsche Bank of Spain to strengthen the national electricity transmission.

The deal was inked Wednesday in Yaoundé, with on behalf of Cameroon by the Minister of Economy minister Louis Paul Motaze signing for Cameroon and on behalf of the donor institution by the director of operations, Mr Antonio Navarro Escabias.

The cash will, among others, assist the 21-months old National Electricity Transport Company (SONATREL) reinforce the grid between hydroelectric power producing town of Edea and the capital Yaoundé, with an additional transmission line.

“These funds will help us build a very important transmission line from Edea to Yaoundé. We will now have two transmission lines such that when one has a problem, we can be secured with the second one,” said the SONATREL Managing Director, Mr Mbemi Nyankga.

Football tournament

Water and Energy Resources minister Basile Atangana Kouna said the work on the additional transmission grid would begin next year and be completed before the start of the 2019 African Cup of Nations football tournament to be hosted by Cameroon.

A split from power monopoly, Energy of Cameroon (ENEO), SONATREL is charged with the transportation of electricity and the management of the transport network for the Central African state which suffers from a chronic power deficit and regular blackouts due to inadequate infrastructure.

Only 74 per cent of the Cameroonian population live in localities with direct access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

National debt

President Paul Biya’s government has continued borrowing despite reports of swelling sovereign debt loads and high governance default, characterised by deepening corruption.

Last month, parliament gave the government the green light to raise the national debt ceiling.

Cameroon was seeking to raise the ceiling of non-concessional borrowing from $854 million (FCFA 500bn) to $2,050 million (FCFA 1,200bn).