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Cameroon Agrees 282.4 Billion Francs of Loans for Roads, Mining

Cameroon borrowed 282.4 billion francs ($539 million) from China, France and the World Bank to finance road, mining and social projects in the Central African nation, Planning Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi said.

The government signed a 242 billion-franc loan with the Export-Import Bank of China to build a 260-kilometer (162-mile) multiple-lane highway between Yaounde and the port city of Douala, Djoumessi told reporters yesterday in the capital.

In a second agreement, the French Development Agency agreed to provide 13.6 billion francs to finance agriculture projects in rural areas, he said. The European Union will also disburse 11.8 billion CFA francs to build a road between Maroua and Maga in northern Cameroon, according to Djoumessi. A fourth 15 billion-franc accord was signed with the World Bank to finance projects in the mining industry, Djoumessi said, without providing further details.

Economic growth in Cameroon, Africa’s fourth-biggest cocoa grower, is expected to accelerate to 4.5 percent in 2013 from an estimated 4.1 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The country is rated B by Standard and Poor’s and Fitch, five levels below investment grade.

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