Today, the European Union, the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria and the African Development Bank, inaugurated the new Cross River bridge at the Mfum-Ekok border crossing between Cameroon and Nigeria. This critical infrastructure also includes a new joint border post at Mfum (Nigeria) and is part of the EU-supported Bamenda-Enugu corridor between both countries.
The new bridge and border crossing are a tangible demonstration of the EU’s enhanced support to African partners. They will further develop the agro-pastoral potential of the area and boost the income of the population. They will also enhance connectivity between Nigeria and Cameroon and increase integration, commercial exchanges and themovement of goods and people between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). As a result, the bridge will contribute to the facilitation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Connecting opportunities for Cameroon and Nigeria under Global Gateway
The Cross River bridge inaugurated today is a key infrastructure and the last that was missing of a strategic 400 km transport corridor linking the regions of Central and Western Africa. It is an example of the sustainable investments in partner countries that the EU is scaling up under the Africa-EU Global Gateway Investment Package announced on the occasion of the EU-Africa Summit in February this year.
The construction of this 402-meter bridge and its road connections started in 2018 and is part of the wider EU-supported Bamenda-Enugu corridor’s development programme. This includes the development of more than 400 km of a two-way road between Bamenda (Cameroon) and Enugu (Nigeria).
This programme also includes the development of urban and rural roads, as well as socio-economic infrastructures, with emphasis on improving the living conditions of young people and women and on their empowerment. The construction of the single border control post is part of the transport and transit facilitation measures on this corridor.
The EU has contributed to the project with €25 million in grants, whichhas leveraged €259 million from the African Development Bank. With the inauguration of the bridge, the corridor can now be used to its full potential.
Cameroon and Nigeria are two driving countries of the ECCAS and the ECOWAS communities, whose economic integration could be stepped up.
The two Regional Economic Communities are crossed by six of the 11 strategic transport corridors supported under the Global Gateway Europe-Africa investment package announced at the EU-African Union summit in February 2022.
These corridors will facilitate trade and mobility within Africa as well as between Africa and Europe, at the same time that enhance sustainable, efficient, and safe connectivity between the two continents while developing new value chains to benefit their industries.