On Thursday, February 27, Chadian president Idriss Déby and Cameroonian prime minister Joseph Dion Ngute laid a foundation stone in the city of Bongor of a second bridge to be built across the Logone River between Chad and Cameroon. It will link Bongor, which is about 250 kilometers south of Chad’s capital N’Djamena, with Yagoua, a town in the Far North Province of Cameroon.
Why It Matters
Regional integration is a key component of the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area, but a lack of cross-border infrastructure presents multiple hurdles to achieve that goal. The bridge reflects national efforts to address these problems , while also fostering greater integration through the facilitation of the free movement of people across borders.
A Boon for the Sub-Region
Residents of Bongor celebrated the announcement. Speaking to Radio France Internationale, a local cattle driver said the bridge will make it safer and less risky to sell his livestock across the border. Without the bridge, he would have to ford the river, losing precious cattle along the way. Bongor also has a high rate of youth unemployment, making the bridge a new lifeline for those who can now more easily seek employment on the other side of the river.