Transport is essential to the functioning of economic activities and key to population welfare.
Cameroon has already engaged an irreversible move towards attaining a middle-income economy status by 2035. There is no gainsaying therefore that fast tracking socio-economic development in all its ramifications requires state-of-the-art transport infrastructure notably road, rail, air and maritime. This is more so because transport facilitates the day-to-day mobility of people coupled with its crucial role in the production and distribution of goods. Good transport is ascertained by efficient infrastructure, the absence of which greatly compromises sustainable socio-economic growth.
Transport amp Agric Development, Poverty Alleviation
Cameroon, to say the least, is an agriculture-prone country par excellence. From north to south and east to west, men and women likewise boys and girls are involved in one farming activity or the other. Be it cash or fruit crops, their production is mostly in the rural milieu. With the scarce farm-to-market roads, conveying these crops from where they are produced to cities where they are highly needed is often a problem. This often leads to wastage given that some of the produce easily get rotten during the harvesting seasons for want of transportation means from the farms to the market. Farmers in Vekovi, Bui Division, for instance, will bear witness here that their Irish potatoes, beans, carrots, galics and ginger often get rotten in the farms far off in the forest while the same produce sell at cut-throat prices in cities. This is because farm-to-market roads are either non-existent or in very bad shape during the rainy session when the produce are harvested. The story is more or less the same in other localities across the country. Getting adequate transport infrastructure in these localities would not only boost agriculture, which is the mainstay of the people, but as well limit poverty amidst them given that they would have the opportunity to move their produce from the farms to the market and bargain better prices for them.
Infrastructure amp Business Dev’t
Time, they say is money. If this is not felt elsewhere, at least in the business world, the effect is immediate. A businessman can loss millions in just minutes wasted in transport difficulties.
Reason why bad roads, saturated seaports, inconsistent flights, poor vessels and archaic rails are g deterrents to business development and contributing factors to worsening the country’s business climate. The absence of good transport infrastructure also slows down investments especially direct foreign investments that government badly needs to attain its growth objectives. Without being negative, there are some investments which cannot be carried out in Cameroon now for want of adapted transport infrastructure. This is notably in the mining sector especially concerning iron ore which needs efficient rail infrastructure through which it could be conveyed from the mining sites to the seaport for export. Striving to develop them, as government is doing, will not only attract such investments but it will also engender sustainable development that comes with such projects. The Mbalam-Nabeba iron ore projects to mine 35 million tonnes per annum from iron deposits in both Cameroon and Congo, construct a 510-km rail line from the Mbarga mine in Cameroon and a 70-km rail spur line connecting the Nabeba mine in Congo dedicated to the transport of iron ore to the Cameroon coast, and the construction of a new deep water iron ore export terminal at Kribi, which will be capable of taking bulk iron ore carriers, is a vivid example of such project’s hemmed on transport infrastructure.
Source : Cameroon Tribune