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Rumpi Lobbies ADB Funding For More Projects 

By Isidore Abah — Rumpi has set out to lobby for funds, still from the African Development Bank, ADB, and the Government to launch the second phase of more development projects. The lobby is coming after what Rumpi says is a successful end of the first phase of development projects funded by the ADB and the Cameroon Government.

On why they are lobbing for funds for phase two of the project, the Rumpi Project Coordinator, Besong Ntui Ogork, said the main objective of the Rumpi area participatory development project is to fight against poverty, and since poverty has not been eliminated, there is need to continue making efforts to eliminate it. He added that there are several parts in the Southwest Region that did not benefit from a single project during the first phase of the projects, and it would be unfair to ostracise such areas in developmental activities.

He further said that if phase two of the project goes operational, prominence will be given to the construction of feeder roads, post-harvest technology, the provision of processing mills to aid farmers reduce losses due to the use of artisanal tools. According to Ogork, the first phase started in 2005 and ended on July 31, 2012, with the projects recording 90 percent and 86 percent success in the physical and financial realisation, respectively.

The remaining 10 percent of projects which was not realised in the first phase, according to the Coordinator, was due to limited financial resources on the part of the Government. Ogork said Rumpi and the ADB have been pressing on the Government to provide the resources that will enable Rumpi accomplish the 10 percent of the first phase of the projects.

During phase one of the projects, Ogork proceeded, Rumpi provided among other things, 35 rural water schemes, 20 rural markets, 170 km of feeder roads, 50 village banks with over 9000 customers, agricultural equipment distributed to farmers, over 300 micro-projects were sponsored, built, habilitate and equipped health centres, etc. “These projects have not only empowered the people, but have also made them financially independent,” the Coordinator stated.

The Rumpi Project Coordinator, however, said executing ADB and Government funded projects is not easy, as it involves a lot of procedural bottlenecks, accountability and regular monitoring.
These, he said, are some of the difficulties that the first phase of the Rumpi project encountered, but added that the location of the ADB office in Yaounde has greatly reduced the length of time for file treatment.

Opening the 29th quarterly coordination meeting of ADB sponsored projects in Cameroon, the Secretary General at the Southwest Governor’s Office, Clement Fon Ndikum, lauded the cooperation that exists between Cameroon and the African Development Bank, and prayed that such tidings should continue.

“A few weeks ago, we were witnesses to an epoch making event in Mamfe, where ADB signed a loan agreement with the Government, promising to fund the construction of the Kumba-Mamfe road, coming at the heels of construction of the Bamenda-Mamfe-Ekok-Enugu corridor.

This landmark investment will boost the economic and social development of our country and beyond thanks to ADB,” the SG stated. Fon Ndikum equally thanked the Rumpi Project and the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development for organising such seminars to ascertain development issues in Cameroon.

He, however, exhorted participants at the workshop to push forward other developmental ideas, and not use the seminar as a friendly encounter for socialisation and tourism at the expense of the State. Representing the ADB Resident Representative in Cameroon, Racine Kane, said that ADB is always willing to fund development projects in Cameroon.

Kane recalled that that ADB became a partner of development with Cameroon in1972, and since then the bank has funded over 28 projects in the spheres of transport, education, health, agriculture, infrastructure etc, worth over FCFA 962 billion. He said the willingness of the bank in making Cameroon an emerging economy has not changed, but that the bank is determined to invest in the energy sector, a sector he said, is more or less neglected in Cameroon.

First published in The Post print edition no 01411

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