17 June 2005

Cameroon: World Bank To Finance Forest Management

The Prime Minister, Ephraim Inoni yesterday received in audience Mr Topa, a World Bank Forestry expert.

The World Bank is eager to see the effective start of the execution of Cameroon's forestry management programme. The World Bank Forestry expert, Mr Topa expressed the desire after an audience with Prime Minister Ephraim Inoni at the Star Building yesterday, June 16.

The World Bank Forestry expert told the press after the audience that the Cameroon government requested the institution to support the effective execution of the forestry programme financially. He stated that the World Bank will sponsor the programme in collaboration with other donor organizations and partners. He announced that the programme is estimated to cost over CFA 5.7 billion (115 million US dollars) and the World Bank will contribute about CFA 1.5 billion (30 million US dollars). According to Mr Topa, the British government has also promised to donate 15 million US dollars while the Canadian and German governments have equally manifested their readiness to assist in the effective execution of the programme.

Mr Topa further disclosed that he comes to Cameroon very often to know how the forestry sector is faring. He said that yesterday's audience with the Prime Minister, Ephraim Inoni was special because it centred on putting in place the execution phase of Cameroon's forestry programme which needs funding. During the audience he disclosed, "we had fruitful discussions on the eventual kick off of the programme. We discussed institutional issues relating to the technical Ministries involved in the programme, the participation of the civil society, the public administration and the need of training in sustainable forestry management". The aim is to ensure that the forestry laws are respected and that the population exploits forestry resources in a sustainable manner.

The World Bank according to Mr Topa has been helping the Cameroon government to restructure the forestry sector. He stated that the assistance has been in the domains of the system of allocation of concessions, devising a forest management system that provides a significant amount of resources shared with the local communities and ensuring transparent operations that create better investment conditions for the private sector. The World Bank officials according to Topa are happy that , "the Cameroon government has significantly increased employment in the forestry sector".

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