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Car Assembly Factory in Cameroon: Make it Concrete

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There is certainly nothing new in announcing that a car assembly factory will be constructed at the seaside town of Kribi, rather what makes news is the arrival of sample vehicles to be mounted there. What could even make more assuring news is when the project effectively begins.

In effect, there is a whole package of questions lingering in the minds of Cameroonians as hopes continue to rekindle ahead of the effective take off of the car assembly factor which many pompously describe as “made in Cameroon” vehicles.

How much will the vehicle cost? Shall they meet up with the exigencies of Cameroonian realities? What kind of vehicles will be put in the market? Some 20 samples were cleared from the Douala port last April 19 and are presently being exhibited at the Yaounde Sports Complex for the public to make its appraisal.

The exhibition is taking place two years after the government signed an agreement with the Chinese firm having as local name, “Cameroon Automotive Holding Company.” In effect, it was on June 11, 2015 that the Indian-based Azad Coach, China’s Gac Gonow and especially, Yutong, the leading automobile construction industry in China and the third World’s manufacturer signed an agreement to build two car assembly plants in Kribi and in Douala.

The Indo-Chinese consortium, which has the Cameroon Automobile Industry Company (CAIC) as its local partner, was expected to invest around FCFA 92 billion in these projects for which the Cameroonian government will be providing 900 hectares of land near the Kribi deep seaport.

The project is benefiting from legislation on private investment incentives in Cameroon which grant tax and customs incentives to companies for a period of five to 10 years as well as during their installation and production phases. Over 4,500 direct jobs will be created within the framework of these projects during the first 15 years of activity.

While waiting for the project to effectively go operational, it is important to raise eyebrows as to whether the cars to be assembled will fit local realities. We are talking about a country where about a third of the population is said to be living below the international poverty threshold of 1.25 dollars a day. As a developing country, the road network is essentially earth road. A good section of the country is hilly and another section humid and largely forested. All these call for serious consideration.

Cameroonians will certainly not like cars that are fragile and short-lived. One of the elements to be taken into consideration is the security system. The rate of car theft is witnessing an exponential growth especially in urban areas. Even though many car owners have resorted to installing several forms of security appliances in their vehicles, it is important to have those that have factory in-build security systems.

In the same vein, it is hoped that the vehicles will make provision for easy accessibility to spare parts that are new and cheaper.

Cameroon Tribune

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11 comments

  1. We were deprived of so much land even to hunt, thanks to the name – Gov`t
    reserved forest. 57 years after independence, what exactly is in the mind of this
    same gov`t, when economic development is concerned?

  2. this government is never to be trusted after 56 years of failed progress, another cosmetic idea where money for this project will be embezzled, or the project will never make a start, the government is full of crooks, untrustworthy and shady men and women with track records of the regime corruption, bribery, tribalism, who will be awarded managerial positions for personal financial gains with little knowledge and interest of making it a success for the region or country.

  3. Factory for coffins ! There are no roads in that hopeless country. What a gov’t.

  4. Please construct good roads first.

  5. Car assembly neans imported new parts. This is very punitive on a country’s foreign reserves. Better to import built and tested cars. Without an iron and steel foundation to support the industry, this laudable effort cannot survive. Start by making tires from our rubber.

  6. This news has been displayed many times in different forms. Made in cameroon tractors , latest if not mistaken
    We spend time, energy and resources celebrating what we are going to do.what we have decided to do but nothing to show that has been done. Next will be feasibility studies, .evaluation of feasibility studies.” ,Decends sur le terrain pars le mnistre de ….” Laying of the foundation stone. motion of support pouring next ? Some people arrested for having received kick backs. This seems to be a governing strategy that needs to be developed and conceptualized.

  7. Terence Muyamah United Kingdom

    Is this something to talk about almost 60 yrs of dismantling the Cameroonian economy? What a shame that after these many yrs Cameroonians will jump at the mention of a mediocre project like this. Where are even the roads to drive the cars? Check out war torn Rwanda my friends then you’ll understand how far back we’re. Shame

  8. That is good news for a foreign country just like any news, don’t forget that they have elections coming up to nominate their sovereign king, there will be motions of support etc etc. Back to the basics, we the people of southern cameroon are spectators to these smoke screen projects. I remember even wheel barrows used to be imported. I don’t know if its still the same over there. But hey! We’ve learned alot for 56yrs, we are heading towards our most cherish ambition INDEPENDENCE. Nothing stands on our way.

  9. I am promising LRC to wait and see what Southern Cameroon will be in the next 56 years. We will be manufacturing airplanes. This is one of our projects, just letting the cat out of the bag

  10. BIya is a Joke including his ministers .. they really hate Cameroon .

  11. The grand ambition is at work