Yaounde (Reuters) - Cameroon and China's Eximbank have signed a loan agreement worth 241.4 billion CFA francs ($467.03 million)for the construction of an expressway road linking the capital Yaounde to Cameroon's economic hub and main Douala.
Economy Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi told reporters after the signing ceremony that the road will cut the distance to be travelled between the two cities from 265 km (165 miles) on the existing road to about 215 km.
He also hoped the six-lane highway would benefit trade for the Central African sub-region. Central African Republic, Chad and other countries rely on Douala for much of their trade.
Construction of the expressway is due to start imminently and will cost a total 284 billion CFA francs, Cameroon providing the remainder.
It is due to take five years to completion.
Djoumessi did not comment on whether a Chinese firm would be likely to win the construction contract.
($1 = 516.8880 CFA francs) (Reporting by Tansa Musa; Editing by Sophie Walker)