Finally Bamenda To Get C2D Investment

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Bamenda has very narrow streets and some of the worst road network in the country

The recent announcement in Bamenda by the minister of Housing and Urban Development Celestine Ketcha Courtes that some 30 billion Francs CFA has been secured for the modernisation of Bamenda road infrastructures sounded like a dream for most of its denizens. For many of them, they have been used to seeing the streets of Bamenda covered with dust in the dry seasons and mud in the rainy season. Many children have grown up in Bamenda seeing tarred roads repaired or maintained with earth or gravel. Bamenda unlike Yaoundé, Douala, Garoua and Baffousam lacks the enchantments and embellishment of a modern city even by Cameroonian standards.

Very poor road network, very narrow inner city streets, poor drainage, no street lights, no social amenities like amusement parks, relaxation sports, shopping malls, very old markets, no worthy government structures, no stadia just to name these few.

This derelict by the authorities is rooted in the civil disobedience that has characterised most of the life of Abakwa since the early nineties.  This makes the people feel they don’t belong, there are not welcome, there are enemies in the house. Many believe this feeling is part of the root causes of the on-going crisis. A school of taught holds that the populations’ continuous respect of ghost towns calls by separatist is not out of fear but more of an indication that the people are not satisfy with the status-quo.

As minister Ketcha puts it during her working visit to Bamenda, the Head of State is working to build infrastructure to ensure the modernization of cities and promote the harmonious development of Cameroon. She also came visiting with the French Ambassador, His Excellency Thierry Marchand, and the Director of the French Development Agency. During her stay in Bamenda, she signed a memorandum of intent ensuring the signing of the contract relating to the construction and rehabilitation of road and drainage infrastructure in the city of Bamenda. This will be carried by a reputable  Joint Venture of RAZEL CAMEROON / BUNS / MAG and the Ministry.

At least Bamenda now feels Cameroonian as it stands to benefit what others have long benefitted. These new phase of Development is coming under the framework of the C2D urban regional capitals program. This is a French government development program aimed at transforming Cameroon’s debt to the French towards the development of regional capitals.

Go back down memory lane and you will remember that Bamenda last had a major pump in road and drainage infrastructure development in the mid 80s with the development of streets like the commercial Avenue, Old Town, Ghana and cow streets.

With the recent wave of proposed road infrastructural development coming to the Northwest region and Bamenda in particular like the 17 km of inner city roads, 30 metres wide, a second entrance and bypass into Bamenda, a 20 metre wide dual carriage road for the major streets of Bamenda I, the tarring of part of the ring road between Kumbo-Ndu-Nkambe-Messaje amongst others, the future is looking bright.

These projects will bring employment for many young Cameroonians, drive up local development, and bring in the construction and improvement of many other social amenities. But one thing that is will inevitable achieve will be to reduce the current torrent of anger many this way feel, take away some of the wayward youths in the bushes, reduce arm violence and give reasons for the population to fight against insecurity and look up to a common flag. It is usually said a stitch in time saves nine. This may be coming after the storm but finally it is here.

Frontline Editorial April 20th 2024

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