Africa’s global bank – United Bank for Africa (UBA) –is increasingly accompanying Cameroon in its move towards emergence, the Bank’s recent operations in the country shows.
Cameroon, which is the economic giant in the central African sub-region, has an ambitious infrastructure development plan contained in its Growth and Employment Strategy Paper. The country seeks to become a middle-income country by 2035 and UBA has in no little way been contributing to seeing this wish materialize in perpetuity.
The continent’s leading financial institution, since starting operations in Cameroon in 2007, has been involved in financing projects which touch on agriculture, energy, transport, manufacturing, telecommunications, infrastructure and other fabrics of national life. UBA’s recent portfolio in Cameroon runs into hundreds of billions of CFA Francs.
In the manufacturing sector, UBA churned out a whooping sum of US$ 125,200,320 (over FCFA 70 billion) to refinance the shareholder loans used to pre-finance Dangote’s cement plant operations in Douala. The amount covered the total funding required for the project.
The project will enable the number one producer of cement in central Africa to expand its operations in Cameroon as well as increase in production capacity. Experts indicate that the UBA-financed project will help increase the quantity of cement produced in Cameroon by 1.6 million metric tons per annum and orchestrate a lower price for cement. Moreover, it will eliminate the importation of cement and generate some additional 700 direct jobs for Cameroonians.
Still in its mission to accompany Cameroon achieve emergence, UBA again financed Dangote Cement Cameroon to the tune of US$ 6,666,666.67 (over FCFA 3.7 billion)to enable the company import raw materials (clinker and so on) from diverse sources for its cement factory in the port city of Douala. The investment is paramount as cement remains a major building material during this period when Cameroon has engaged in many construction projects.
UBA better understands the need for an economy to have available energy needed for development and the wellbeing of people. The Bank did not hesitate to make available US$ 12,500,000 (over 7 FCFA) to Gaz Du Cameroun to finance its 2017 capital expenditure program. The amount which cover the sum required for the project will be used in laying more pipes, connection of customers, production enhancements, expansion of gas plant, amongst others. Part of the production is meant for power grid to enable the plant increase Cameroon’s power generation capacity. The other part is meant to help companies operate by replacing fuel with gas.
As if not enough, UBA has also assisted SDCC raise US$ 16,666,666 (over FCFA 9 billion) of some US$ 33,333,333 (over FCFA 18 billion) for the renewal of its rubber plantation. The impact is that the country will improve rubber production and consequently sales which will in turn lead to foreign currency inflow into the country; an economic booster.
In telecommunications, UBA has accorded several financial packages to Nexttel; the Cameroonian subsidiary of Vietel, to help the telecoms operator to complete investment in requisite infrastructure and facilitate the launching of their operations in January 2014. The investment has helped the third mobile telephone company expand its network and also grow its customer base and generate more profits. But most importantly connecting Cameroonians in rural areas who were hitherto left behind.
Just More Than A Bank
UBA has over time shown that it is not only out to make profit like other banks do, but to ensure that there is real unity in diversity where she operates. Sports being a unifying factor, the Bank has jerked into making sure that Cameroon has modern sports infrastructures with start-of-the-art equipment.
The Banks is involved in financing the construction of two stadiums in Cameroon – the 60,000 seat Olembe Stadium in Yaounde and the 50,000 capacity Japoma Stadium in Douala. Both structures will be used for matches during the 2019 African Cup of Nations which Cameroon will proudly host.
The Olembe Stadium will be the best and most modern in the country and associating with the government to construct this goes a long way to show the UBA’s commitment to work with the public sector in developing the country. Both structures will have basketball, handball volleyball and tennis courts, Olympic swimming pools, conference centres, commercial centers, luxury hotels and parking lots. The tournament, through the investment is expected to bring a lot of investments into the country and also generate revenue.
A concerned Cameroonian, marveled by UBA’s engagement in the country said Cameroon can achieve its 2035 vision much earlier if there were two UBA banks in Cameroon.