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Cameroon, here are the areas for growth

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    No more Lalobe/Kribi BS please.

    Cameroon, here are the areas for growth

    Posted by Café Africa on January 26, 2015 · Leave a Comment

    A country has large resources in recent years has recorded a positive growth rate, averaging 3.6% per year, but well below the actual possibilities, according to the recent report on Cameroon by KPMG Consulting.

    The cause of a non-explosive growth is attributable to the decrease in oil extraction which remains the main source of revenue to finance public spending. To counter the problem, the government has launched a series of initiatives aimed at to increase the exploitation of other mineral resources available to the country and that are consistent. In particular, the work already undertaken in part to the realization of some strategic infrastructure: power plants, railways, roads and ports to allow the refining of materials and transportation of products.

    Cameroon currently produces 70 thousand tons per year of primary aluminum in a smelter located in Edea. The main bottleneck for expanding production is currently represented by the limited availability of energy. To unlock the situation is being assessed the possible construction of a hydroelectric project from 400 megawatts to Natchigal, river Sanaga with a transmission line 50 kilometers to 250 kV.

    The most significant finding, however, was carried out in the region of Adamawa. The reserves in this case are substantial: about 554 million tons. It is expected to be able to extract 7.5 million tons a year and start a bauxite refinery from 3.5 million tonnes a year.

    Looking ahead Cameroon will also become a major producer of iron ore through two substantial gas fields, located respectively in the south and Dioum Mbalam-Nabeba the border with Congo Brazzaville. The first contains reserves estimated at 703 million tonnes, the second in 436 million. For the field-Mbalam Nabeba, which could result in an annual production of 35 million tons, is the study of a railway over 500 km which would bring the ore extracted in Cameroon and Congo to the new port of Kribi where camerounese will be able to dock ships up to 300 000 gross tons.

    Two years ago the Irish Botswana Diamonds has announced the discovery of a diamond deposit with stones up to 2 carats. It should be noted that in the country there is a widespread search of handmade stones with an annual output valued at about 5 thousand carats.
    Forestry Industry

    The forest industry (22 million hectares of forests, of which 17 cultivated) is an important component of the economy of Cameroon: two million m3 per year, the country is currently the first African exporter of timber (especially prevalent: okoumé, sapelli, ayous, such). The product is sold primarily in the form of tables (in the country operate sixty sawmills) but there are also a dozen small plants for the production of plywood and veneer. The export of logs (mainly to China) is restricted to a limited number of species. The 80% of the product of the first processor is exported to Europe. First markets: Italy and Spain.

    The activity is part both for individuals and local communities (villages) engaged in the activity in a manner often artisanal (so-called "informal" sector) with different types of securities issued by the state of exploitation both to industrial operators, local and foreign manage large ranges (7 million hectares in total). In principle, the country's awareness of the importance of a rational use of this resource and the legislation is quite strict especially for large private concessions that anyway must certify the product. In particular, in 2010, Cameroon has signed an agreement (partnershp Voluntary Agreement) with the EU for the gradual accession procedures Flegt (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade). And if the rules are always respected, with systems appropriate monitoring and fulfillment of the clauses that would require to provide infrastructure (schools, roads) in areas given in concession, is all to understand!

    In the "informal" sector, which also draws a massive flow of illegal export of logs primarily to China, get the respect of the rules is even more difficult. At present the government's objectives, in this area, are to take full control of the situation with regard to concessions and property titles and certification activities, but also to extend the value chain with processing of secondary processing, in order to create employment.

    In the country are directly also some Italian operators: the Emilian group Alpicam which operates two major concessions for a total of 400 000 hectares; Itallegno which has a significant stake in Ecamplacage, a leading manufacturer of veneer; Sim (Société industrielle of Mbang) offering cutting services and operates a factory for the production of boards and laminated.

    Cameroon is considered as Africa in miniature for the variety of climatic conditions and crops. It is a country of 80% self-sufficient in the production of most agricultural commodities. The deficiencies are identified in the activity of transformation for both products exported to those for the local market. The objective of the government, so it is promoting a lengthening of the value chain pointing in two directions: the 'attraction of foreign investors and multinational companies, with several facilities especially in the field of taxes and the simultaneous development of field activities with a program called "Agropoles ", which provides both financial contributions both specific interventions to support local operators for the construction of rural roads, irrigation systems, purchase of seeds, purchase of agricultural equipment.

    Industrial crops identified are: coffee, cocoa, sugar cane, bananas, palm oil, rubber, rice, cassava, in addition to farming and poultry industry aimed especially at local and regional market.

    Among the Italian companies, currently, the most important is the presence of the Ferrero group with a factory in Youndé and announced a new plant in the southeast of the country that will work local raw materials. There is also the University of Florence with a pilot project for the production of cassava flour, a product that the Government of Cameroon will harness with various initiatives.

    Building Materials
    The country is still a net importer of cement with particularly high prices on the market. To bridge the gap are ongoing and several projects have been identified more than thirty sites located in various regions. Currently the exploitation is conducted in a "craft", limited to certain areas (North). The goal is to initiate an extraction with industrial methods and to facilitate on-site processing aiming at both local demand is that of adjacent markets. The Government also aims at the realization of installations of fragmentation scheme PPP for the production of bitumen .

    The Chinese manufacturers have won most of the contracts for strategic projects,
    such as the new highway Yaounde Douala (China First Highway Engineering) and the deepwater port of Kribi (China Harbour Engineering). The trump card of China is represented by the willingness to finance works that are capital intensive.
    Italy is present in the sector with a partnership established between the Department of Civil Engineering, Construction and Environment at the University of Padua with the National School of Public Works Cameroon. The program, funded by the Ministry of Public Works of Cameroon in the amount of about 1 million euro a year, provides for joint courses of undergraduate and master of the first and second level in engineering construction, and material with presence in rotation in Yaounde 'of teachers from Padua.
    Energy and water systems

    Insufficient availability of energy is one of the major constraints on the growth of the country, both as regards the civil consumption, both for the need, in perspective, of the mining industry. The installed capacity is currently 929 megawatts of which 732 hydro. Has recently started the construction of a new power plant by 30 megawatts on the river Pangar and is expected also the start of a second 200-megawatt project on the River Ntem, but the country still has a huge hydropower potential, the third in Africa after Ethiopia and Congo for a total of 294mila gigawatt-hours per year of which at least 105 thousand considered usable with competitive costs.

    The government's objectives are ambitious. This would bring the installed capacity by 2020, to 3 thousand megawatts. More concretely identified a number of sites for a total of 1,400 megawatts with medium sized plants small, to be proposed for the realization of a regime of Public Private Partnership.

    Equally important, for the country, is the completion of several programs initiated in 2008 for the supply of drinking water and the construction of drainage systems. In this context, Italy has submitted to the Ministers of Finance and Economy to the proposal to devote part of the funds of the bilateral agreement with Cameroon for debt cancellation to the purchase of wells for drinking water to be devoted mainly to the most disadvantaged regions of the country along the lines of some experiences already made in Douala.

    Source: Economic Diplomacy Italian No. 1/15
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