Joseph Rode, the Managing Director of the Belgian company Préfarail, recently visited Yaoundé (April 25, 2014) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Cameroon. The Belgian company intends to build a light rail system in the capital of Cameroon, which will ease the acute urban transportation problems the city experiences.
The document specifies a 50 Km long tramway, which will significantly reduce traffic congestion in the Yaoundé urban center and offer a much-needed transit option to the million inhabitants of this metro area. In addition to the capital city’s tramway whose construction is planned to begin in 2015, the project includes building the same infrastructure in Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon.
Douala in particular is overdue for an effective and comprehensive mass transit system. Commute time in this city can rapidly turn to a nightmare, as traveling a distance of 10 km can take up to 4 hours during peak hours. Other major metro areas in the country should later benefit from similar infrastructure, should everything work as planned. The MoU was signed on the Cameroonian side by the Minister of Economy, Mr. Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi.
When completed, this will be the first tramway infrastructure in Central Africa. Conducted under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, the infrastructure will be fully funded by the Belgian company Préfarail and operated for an undisclosed period before its final transfer to the State Cameroon.