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CABINET MEETING OF WEDNESDAY 29 FEBRUARY 2012: PRESS RELEASE

A single item featured on the agenda, namely, the statement prepared by infrastructure sector ministers and presented by the Minister for Public Works on the topic: “Stakes and challenges of the Infrastructure sector contained in the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP)”.

The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Mr Philemon YANG, today Wednesday 29 February 2012, as from 11:00 a.m. in the main building of the Prime Minister’s Office, chaired an important Cabinet Meeting attended by Ministersof State, Ministers, Ministers Delegate, Secretaries of State as well as his close aides.

A single item featured on the agenda, namely, the statement prepared by infrastructure sector ministers and presented by the Minister for Public Works on the topic:

“Stakes and challenges of the Infrastructure sector contained in the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP)”.

The Minister for Public Works began his statement by recalling the general objectives of the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP), namely to: increase the annual growth rate by 5.5%; reduce under-employment from 75% to 50% by 2020; and reduce the rate of monetary poverty from 39.9% to 28.7% by the same target year, with the attainment of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He stressed that the underlying issue of infrastructure was at the centre of the growth strategy which, alongside the employment strategy and the governance and public management improvement strategy, constitutes one of the three pillars of GESP.

Thus, for some years now, Government’s option has been to raise the percentage of overall State spending on public investments and reverse the trend towards sloppiness in this area. This depends on allocating substantial resources to overarching projects, rendering procurement procedures less cumbersome and channeling official development assistance towards infrastructure.

Continuing his statement, the Minister outlined the main objectives of various sub-sectors. The priority in the energy sub-sector is to construct new production infrastructure and rehabilitate existing ones to make good the shortfall and even triple the installed capacity by 2020.

Government’s avowed ambition in the building and construction sub-sector is to tar about 3,500 kilometres of roads, primarily to open up the zones of installation of major projects, facilitate the transportation of agro-pastoral production and strengthen sub-regional integration.

At the level of transport, the aim will be to increase the rail network by creating over 1,000 kilometres of railways. A boom is expected in maritime transport with the construction of the Kribi and Limbe Ports and the rehabilitation of the Douala Port.

In the telecommunications sub-sector, the objective is to increase network density to 45% and 65% respectively for fixed and mobile telephony.

The GESP objectives are just as ambitious for urban development and improving the living environment. The goal by 2020 is to tar 150 kilometres of urban roads, build at least 17,000 low-cost houses and develop 50,000 parcels of land.

In order to have a better mastery of land aspects linked to the construction of infrastructure, the State plans to constitute land reserves and modernize cadastral surveys thanks to an efficient geodesic network.

Attesting to the effective implementation of the infrastructure sector objectives, the Minister for Public Works dwelled on the implementation status of certain major projects in the energy, roads and telecommunication sectors and the construction of low-cost houses.

The Minister for Public Works also mentioned some structural and institutional constraints that hamper the realization of infrastructural projects: (i) cumbersome procurement procedures and (ii) an inadequate financing and planning of projects in a perspective of regional development. He also highlighted the need to capitalize on public-private partnerships through a greater involvement of the Public-Private Partnerships Support Board.

At the end of the statement and ensuing discussions, the Head of Government asked the Minister for Public Works to liaise with the infrastructure sector ministers and the Minister in charge of the economy, to prepare and submit to his Office the infrastructure sector strategy with its accompanying Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, placing emphasis on the maintenance and upkeep of such infrastructure.

The Cabinet Meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m. after consideration of sundry matters linked to Government activity./-

Yaounde, 29 February 2012

MOTAZE Louis Paul,

Secretary-General

Prime Minister’s Office

 


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