World Bank Supports Cameroon and Chad to Improve Regional Connectivity and Resilience
Central African country Cameroon and its landlocked neighbor Chad are getting a significant boost to improve the efficiency and safety of cross-border trade and transit. The World Bank today approved a financing package to boost regional connectivity through a regional Cameroon-Chad Transport Corridor project. The World Bank also established Cameroon and Chad’s eligibility for the Prevention and Resilience Allocation.
The Cameroon-Chad Transport Corridor Project will be supported by $538 million from the International Development Association (IDA)*. It combines investments in rail and road infrastructure, with interventions on trade facilitation to improve the flow of people, goods, and services along the multimodal Douala-N’Djamena corridor—that concentrates 35 percent of the GDP for both countries, 20 percent of Chad’s population, and 35 percent of Cameroon’s population.
“Improving the rail and road corridor between Cameroon and Chad is essential for the competitiveness and improved integration of both countries into the regional market,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon. “This project is a real window of opportunity to improve the lives of people living in the Lake Chad region, which is affected by climate change, political unrest, and violence,” added Clara de Sousa, Country Director for Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger.
About 12 million people who live within the corridor will benefit from improved road and railway infrastructure, with reduced costs and transport time from the Port of Douala (in Cameroon) to N’Djamena (in Chad), better safety, and increased access to markets. The project will support the rehabilitation and modernization of critical road and rail networks, including a 595-kilometer road in Chad, as well as improve signaling systems, maintenance and upgrade the network to be more to make it more climate resilient. These major investments and complementary trade facilitation activities will boost the economy and will bring positive changes in the region, including around the Lake Chad which is expected to experience a 4.8 percent increase in real income.
“This project benefits from the lessons learned from ongoing and past projects in the region and fully aligns with the Central African Economic and Monetary Community’s (CEMAC) objective to improve regional connectivity, a key pillar in its Regional Economic Program (PER)”, says Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank Director for Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Northern Africa. “The World Bank’s wealth of experience shows that infrastructure investments, especially on a regional corridor, are more effective when combined with soft regulatory measures, namely trucking industry reforms, trade facilitation, and axle loads’ control.”
The eligibility of Cameroon and Chad for the Prevention and Resilience Allocation enables Cameroon and Chad to access additional IDA resources amounting respectively to $265 million for Cameroon, and $133 million for Chad to support World Bank financed programs in preventing a further escalation of conflict and build resilience. Conflict and violence have risen sharply since 2015, with the beginning of terrorist attacks in Chad mostly affecting the Lake Chad area. The PRAs will help both countries in developing a framework to monitor progress in the implementation of their prevention and resilience plans, and will support prevention activities that span across economic, social and security dimensions to better address the fragility situations in which the populations are trapped.
ABC news: Xi signals strength in Russia-China alliance
Chinese President Xi Jinping departed Moscow on Wednesday after two days of highly symbolic meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the two presented a united front and an alternative vision for global leadership, notes ABCnews.
Despite statements saying that “China-Russia relations are not the kind of military-political alliance during the Cold War,” China and Russia made clear they wanted to “advance the trend toward a multi-polar world.”
“This highly publicized summit may reflect a shift towards a new and more active role for China, as it seizes the opportunity to convey diplomatic – and possibly tangible – support for Russia and any other state that wishes to defy the West,” – Michael Butler, associate professor of political science at Clark University, told ABC News.
Joint animosity towards the U.S.-led world order has kept Russia and China close despite Putin’s war in Ukraine and western sanctions against Russia has made China their biggest customer and economic lifeline.
Beijing increasingly sees Russia as necessary ally as China and United States continue to fallout over numerous fronts not limited to Taiwan and access to semiconductors. It was further exasperated by the spy balloon episode earlier this year.
Beijing had initially hoped that the spiraling tensions with the U.S. would abate in the wake of Xi’s meeting with President Joe Biden in Bali last November, but as they continued to crater, Xi seems to have re-prioritized Russian relationship. He even aimed a rare direct slight at the United States earlier this month, blaming the Americans for “containment and suppression” as the reasons for China’s economic challenges.
Xi highlighted on numerous occasions over the two days of meetings that Russia and China are each other’s largest neighbors and that their partnership is “consistent with historical logic and a strategic choice of China.”
Petr Pavl: “Ukraine must adjust to dwindling Western support”
“We must consider war weariness”, says Czech President Petr Pavl. According to Czech President Petr Pavl, Ukraine must adjust to dwindling Western support. “We have to consider war weariness and what that means for support from Western states. This will pass with time,” Pavel told the ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’.
He also mentioned the 2024 US presidential election and the concentration on domestic politics that could then be expected: “If US support decreases, support for a number of European countries will also decrease. Ukraine should take this into account.”
Thus, in 2024, Ukraine will probably no longer be able to start any large and complex operations, the new Czech president said. “This year is decisive for the development of the war.”
The former general was wary of the prospects of Ukraine joining NATO in the foreseeable future. “Ukraine’s path to Europe should run through a faster rapprochement with the European Union and only then with law enforcement agencies,” the President said. “I think that’s the right order.”
WP: The real lesson from the showy Xi-Putin meeting
Pentagon strategists have always divided the world into East and West, with U.S. regional forces under European Command or Indo-Pacific Command. But looking at the embrace of Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin this week, you wonder whether we may need a single “Eurasian Command” to handle an integrated threat, writes ‘The Washington Post’ in a comment.
Xi’s rescue strategy for Russia seems to center on a peace plan that would stanch the bleeding in Ukraine. From what we know, Xi proposes a cease-fire agreement… By playing the peacemaker, Xi can position himself better to take other, harsher rescue measures if Ukraine rejects a cease-fire. He could offer ammunition for Russia, arguing he’s only leveling the playing field.
He could try to mobilize nations of the Global South, such as India, South Africa and Brazil, to pressure Ukraine to end the fighting. Xi wants to keep the high ground, invoking the sanctity of the United Nations charter even as he affirms his support for the Russian leader who shattered that charter’s norms. It’s a shameless approach, but smart diplomacy.
Xi’s emerging role as the leader of a Eurasian bloc presents dilemmas for U.S. strategists.
For a generation, separating China from Russia was a central goal of U.S. foreign policy. Driving that wedge was a major reason for the historic visit to China in 1972 by President Richard M. Nixon and national security adviser Henry Kissinger.
The Biden administration initially hoped it could try that strategy in reverse — warming relations with Moscow in the June 2021 summit in Geneva in part to concentrate on the Chinese challenge. That didn’t work out as the White House hoped, to put it mildly.
Now it’s Xi who is the triangulator. He is playing off the bitter split between the United States and Russia, helping Putin.
Xi similarly used China’s close relations with Iran to make the diplomatic breakthrough between Riyadh and Tehran that the United States could never achieve, writes WP.
Erosion of Russia’s Hegemonic Stability in the South Caucasus and Transition to Risky Instability
In early nineteenth century, following the wars with Persian and Ottoman empires, Russia completed the invasion of the South Caucasus....
The Taliban’s Loss of Popular Support in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is currently facing an unprecedented crisis due to the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August 2021. Despite initially...
International Cooperation to Address Economic Inequality and Promote Sustainable Development
Economic inequality is a pervasive issue that has plagued societies across the world for centuries. The gap between the rich...
It’s high time to step up the protection of Europe’s critical maritime infrastructure
After the truth about the Nord Stream pipeline explosion came to light, the whole world knows that the United States...
Seeing Japan – Indonesia Collaboration in Energy Transition Cooperation
Holding the G7 presidency, Japan is increasingly active in establishing relations with several countries. One of them is Indonesia. The...
Women’s mobility must be a key focus in urban policy
Historically, cities across the world have been designed to fit the needs of able-bodied men, or a neutral, often male,...
Lemon peel, flax fibres hold keys to eco-friendly car parts
Natural materials including farm waste can make autos and other industries more sustainable, less toxic By HELEN MASSY-BERESFORD Think of the...
Eastern Europe4 days ago
Untouchable U.S. troops in Lithuania
Science & Technology3 days ago
New discoveries and advances ranging from the BRICS countries to Israel, Japan and South Korea
Eastern Europe4 days ago
The Ukraine War and Great Power Competition
Economy3 days ago
Azerbaijan’s Favorable Climate for Foreign Investments
Economy4 days ago
Blue Economy and its potential in Pakistan
Europe3 days ago
Europe’s relations with Africa and Asia are on the brink of collapse, and Russia is benefiting
Economy3 days ago
Vietnam’s macroeconomic policy and post COVID recovery
Finance4 days ago
Pre-Hung & Slab Doors: Comparison Guide