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Cameroon : A cocoa processing plant in the offing

On 17 September 2018, an additional funding agreement was signed in Douala between the Central African Development Bank (BDEAC), the Bgfi Bank, and the Atlantic Cocoa company, an Ivorian group. The 7.24-billion FCFA agreement relates to the construction and operationalisation of a cocoa bean processing plant in Kribi, Cameroon. "This is an important project for Cameroon, the CEMAC sub-region and BDEAC," Fortunato Ofa Mbo Nchama, President of BDEAC said after signing the contract.

The purpose of the project is to market yearly some 37,000 tonnes of semi-finished cocoa products (mass, butter and oilcake) certified to international standards. "Processing our raw materials instead of exporting them is in line with the desired diversification of our economies," the BDEAC President said.

As a reminder, in late January 2018, the Ivorian-owned Atlantic Cocoa Company signed a contract with the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK) for the construction, in the Kribi industrial zone, of a cocoa processing unit with a capacity of 48,000 tonnes per year, expandable to 64,000 tonnes per year. In all, the investment amounts to some 30 billion FCFA and is one of the major components of the investment programme of the Ivorian group in Cameroon. In fact, the programme also includes the development of industrial agricultural plantations, including centres of agricultural excellence in Cameroon's different cocoa producing areas on an area of 25,000 hectares.

(Excerpts from Cameroon Tribune No. 11683 of 20th September 2018)