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Korea To Improve Public Transport In Yaounde 

By Imma Mkong & Michele Laure Akosoh*

The Korea International Cooperation Agency, KOICA, and the Yaounde City Council have signed a record of discussions on the public transport system improvement project.

The signing ceremony that took place on April 4 at the Yaounde City Council hall was co-presided at by the Government Delegate to the Yaounde City Council, Gilbert Tsimi Evouna and the Resident Representative of KOICA, Ra Kapchae. The project aims at establishing a public transport master plan to improve on the transportation system in Yaounde.

Carrying on a feasibility study on the new transport system, recommending on the private-public partnership bus operation system and transferring Korea’s knowledge and technology in the domain of public transport, planning and management, are some highlights of the project.
The record of discussions is the result of a series of meetings between the two parties that started in 2011.

A Korean survey team was in Yaounde from April 1 to April 4 prior to the signing ceremony. Both parties agreed that the two-year project to cost about 1.5 million US dollars [equivalent to 1.605 million Korean Won], shall be financially supported by the Republic of Korea. Fourteen Korean experts are expected to visit Cameroon during the project implementation period and more then 10 Cameroonian officials will be invited to the training programme in Korea.

The public transport master plan shall map out public transport strategies up to 2030, identify current and future public transport issues in Yaounde, carry out field surveys to analyse the travel behaviour of all transport mode users, build up current and future development matrices.
The master plan will also suggest public transport improvement plans, estimate the effects of the said suggestions and priorities between suggested public transport improvement plans and finally, find finance sources.

The feasibility study seeks to suggest alternatives for the new public transport system such as bus rapid transit, tram, light rail transit, among others. It shall also identify a particular transport corridor that has the highest priority and need for a public transport system, forecast demand and estimate construction and operating costs and conduct economic analyses.

The experts dispatched to Cameroon shall come from various disciplines; one public transport expert, four transport planners, two transport economists, two public transport operation annalists, two transport engineers, one bus rapid transit engineer, one urban railway engineer and two civil engineers.

During their stay, the experts will be provided living allowances, international and local travel costs. The areas of expertise and number of experts are subject to change depending on developments relevant to the project. Other details shall be decided through further consultations between KOICA and the council.

An appropriate training programme will be prepared for the 10 Cameroonian officials and other relevant authorities invited to Korea. The two-week visit shall enable them attain practical knowledge and skills for the project implementation.

Two key specialists are expected to pay a one-month visit to Korea for the same purpose. KOICA shall bear all costs required for the training courses including international travel, accommodation and meals for participants. A joint team appointed by both parties will undertake evaluations of the project. Following the capacity building programme, at least 30 percent of the trainees shall be women.

*(UB Journalism Students)

First published in The Post print edition no. 01334

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