Italy will convert part of Cameroon’s debt into funding for socio-economic development projects, including an oncology hospital in the Northern region, in Garoua.
The agreement was discussed during the latest meeting of the Bilateral Committee, held on March 2nd and co-chaired by the Ambassador of Italy to Cameroon, Filippo Scammacca del Murgo, and the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey.
“One of the high-profile projects that we decided to finance is an oncology hospital. The hospital will be in the Northern city of Garoua, in an area where no other hospital can cure cancer,” Ambassador Scammacca told InfoAfrica, an Italian online newspaper.
As the Ambassador recalled, in 2006 Italy, as part of the international initiative for the reduction of Cameroon’s debt, canceled a part of Cameroon’s debt, amounting to some €130 million.
According to the bilateral agreement, a third of this amount will be allocated to finance socio-economic development projects. All projects will be evaluated and monitored by a special committee.
“We are now in the final phase of this project, which involves the conversion of about three billion CFA francs (almost €4.6 million) every year,” the Italian diplomat said.
Despite the delays caused by the pandemic, in the period 2019-2021, several important projects were financed, including the electrification of a rural locality, the construction of schools, dialysis centers, and infrastructures, especially in the North of the country.
At the end of the meeting, Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey expressed his gratitude to Italy and his satisfaction with the state of bilateral relations.
Italy and Cameroon share a solid diplomatic relation, accompanied by a significant Italian entrepreneurial presence in the country, especially in the forestry sector. An excellent social climate and relative political stability, especially if compared to neighboring countries, make Cameroon a suitable partner and destination of investments.
Recently, many Italian companies took part in the eighth edition of Salone Promote, a fair dedicated to businesses, SMEs, and entrepreneurship, which was held from 21 to 27 February in Yaoundé.