Accepted paper:

"Energizing Africa" - hydropower infrastructures and growth strategy: the case of Cameroon


Moïse Williams Pokam Kamdem (University of Dschang)

Paper short abstract:

The construction of new electrical infrastructures in Cameroon is presented as the solution to the energy deficit that persists for two decades and which hampers the economic prospects. This paper aims to discuss the place of these infrastructures in the State growth strategy of this African country

Paper long abstract:

Since a decade, Cameroon has launched a new phase of development of its hydroelectric potential. This is part of a trend that sees access to electricity included in the International Agenda, and many African countries making heavy investments for the rehabilitation and the construction of energy infrastructures. Although the construction of Memve'ele, Lom Pangar, Mekin and Nachtigal dams has not been completed, they have been presented since their conception as the solution to the energy deficit that persists since the beginning of the 2000s. They are also one of the symbols of the government ambitions to revive and accelerate the economic growth of this country. Relying on Chinese investments and contractors in particular, Cameroon then aims to triple its electricity production in 2020 to reach 3,000 MW by investing more than $ 11 billion. This paper aims at discussing the development of the electrical infrastructures in Cameroon by putting it in relation with the objectives of economic growth of this country. Three questions are particularly examined: 1) How does Cameroon's energy policy fit in with the "global electrification"? 2) What is the place of electrical infrastructure projects in the discourses and policies of growth in Cameroon? 3) Why are Chinese investments and contractors playing a prominent role in this process?

panel Econ28
Building and connecting Africa: Infrastructure construction and economic development in the XXIst century