News / Africa

Second Major Bridge to be Built over Cameroon's Wouri River

FILE - Cameroon's President Paul Biya.FILE - Cameroon's President Paul Biya.
x
FILE - Cameroon's President Paul Biya.
FILE - Cameroon's President Paul Biya.
Cameroon President Paul Biya has laid the foundation stone for one of his biggest projects after 31 years in power.  His government will build an 820 meters long second bridge over the Wouri River in the economic capital city, Douala - called the "Gateway into Central Africa."   It is expected to reduce congestion on the first bridge constructed 60 years ago by France, the former colonial ruler of Cameroon.

Just above the dark waters of the Wouri River near Cameroon's Atlantic coast lies a one kilometer bridge, the longest in the Central African Sub region.  It was constructed by French colonial masters 60 years ago to carry 2,000 vehicles per day.

Douala, CameroonDouala, Cameroon
x
Douala, Cameroon
Douala, Cameroon
The bridge today carries more than 45,000 vehicles a day, some transporting goods from Douala's deep seaport, to landlocked countries like Chad and the Central African Republic.  Wood, cocoa, coffee, banana and cotton destined for European Countries also pass over the bridge.

Ntube Rachel, who imports textiles, says at times it takes them four hours to cross the bridge.

“When we get to Douala is like a nightmare to cross just the Wouri bridge. You always meet accidents. In fact one cannot explain all of the experiences,” said Ntube Rachel.

Many bridge users prefer saving time by hiring the services of commercial motorcycle drivers because they navigate between the vehicles and trains stopped on the bridge.

Kwete Theophyl, a driver, says that they make brisk business charging at times up to $1 per person.

He says people complain about the price but they prefer to get across the bridge quickly.

The government of France offered a loan of $175 million to Cameroon to build a second bridge over the Wouri and de-congest the traffic on the existing bridge. The government of Cameroon is expected to provide about $67 million for the completion of the new bridge.  

While laying the foundation stone for its construction, Cameroon President Paul Biya said the bridge will be one of the most beautiful in the World.

“Ladies and gentlemen, bridges are art objects that gives testimony of technical progress like the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco. This second bridge may be as important as the one I have just mentioned,” he said.

Cameroonians like Elema Ernest, an official at Cameroon's Ministry of Finance, says bridge's construction will improve economic activity not only in Douala, but the entire Central African Sub Region.

“The economic importance of this bridge is more than words can tell because you know that this bridge does not only link the Littoral Region with the South West, West, and North West Regions that are very productive as far as agriculture is concerned. It links West Africa to Central Africa because Douala is the entrance to Central Africa. It links the ECOWAS countries and the CEMAC countries,” said Ernest.

Cameroonians have been expressing concerns that the multinational road construction company SOGEA SATOM, which won the contract to build the bridge, may not include local companies in its construction plan.

Cameroon's Minister of Public Works, Patrice Ambassala, says they had discussed the issue with the company and Cameroonian enterprises. And he promises more than 500 jobs for local residents, many of them to be used as sub-contractors.

The project to construct a second bridge over the River Wouri is one of President Paul Biyas political promises.

In his economic blueprint for Cameroon called "Vision 2035," Biya indicates that he wants to make the country an emerging nation within two decades.

The new bridge will be a slightly curving structure serving as both a road and a railway bridge capable of carrying two rail tracks.

The road is to have five lanes covering 820 meters in length and 34 meters in width.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid