Project ID: 31253

China Eximbank provides $168.3 million preferential buyer's credit for Phase 1 of National Broadband Network Project (Linked to Project ID#58397)

Commitment amount

$ 197604994.7989197

Adjusted commitment amount

$ 197604994.8

Constant 2021 USD


Funding agency [Type]

Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) [State-owned Policy Bank]




Communications (Code: 220)

Flow type


Level of public liability

Central government debt

Financial distress






Mixed (The next section lists the possible statuses.)





Financial Flow Classification

OOF-like (The next section lists the possible statuses.)

Official Development Assistance

Other Official Flows

Vague (Official Finance)

Flows categorized based on OECD-DAC guidelines

Project lifecycle


Completion (The next section lists the possible statuses.)










Actual start


Actual complete



On July 19, 2012, China Eximbank and Cameroon's Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Regional Development (MINEPAT) signed a preferential buyer credit (PBC) loan agreement [CHINA EXIMBANK PBC NO. (2012) 33 TOTAL NO.(221)] worth $168,300,000 (CFA 99 billion) for the National Broadband Network Project (Projet National Broadband Network). The terms of the loan were as follows: a 20 year maturity, a 5 year grace period, a 2% interest rate, a 0% default (penalty) interest rate, a 0.30% commitment fee, and a 0.30% management fee. The proceeds of the loan were on-lent to Cameroon Telecommunications Co. (CAMTEL) to finance its $198,000,000 commercial contract with Huawei Technologies, which was signed on December 31, 2010. As of December 31, 2020, the loan had achieved a 100% disbursement rate and its outstanding amount was equivalent to CFA 78.5 billion. Its outstanding amount was equivalent to CFA 105 billion as of December 31, 2016, CFA 92 billion as of December 31, 2017, CFA 90 billion as of December 31, 2018, and CFA 88 billion as of December 31, 2019. This project had fiber-to-the-home, submarine cable, 4th generation mobile broadband (LTE), security surveillance network, and digital TV installation components. Huawei Technologies was the contractor responsible for project implementation. The implementation of the project commenced on January 1, 2012 and reached completion on February 18, 2016. There are some indications that the China Eximbank loan for Phase 1 of National Broadband Network Project may have financially underperformed vis-a-vis the original expectations of the lender. In January 2019, Cameroon unilaterally withheld debt service payments to China Eximbank. The lender responded by withholding new loan disbursements. Then, in July 2019, China Eximbank and the Government of Cameroon signed a debt rescheduling agreement (as captured via Project ID#88213). Under the terms of the agreement, China Eximbank agreed to reschedule 18 loans previously contracted by the Government of Cameroon — with scheduled principal repayments between July 2019 and March 2022 — by allowing the borrower to defer scheduled principal repayments between July 2019 and March 2022 to later dates but without any maturity extensions. The total amount of restructured debt was equivalent CFA 148 billion ($253 million) — or 70% of the loan principal that was scheduled for repayment between July 2019 and March 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, the Government of Cameroon agreed to repay 30% of the loan principal according to the original July 2019-March 2022 schedule (i.e. without any payment deferrals). The lender and the borrower also agreed to cancel the committed but undisbursed loan balances worth approximately CFA 10 billion (for certain loans with disbursement deadlines that had already passed). Then, in January 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) classified the Government Cameroon as facing a high risk of debt distress. Eighteen months later, during an address before Cameroon’s National Assembly on June 28, 2021, the Minister of Water and Energy (MINEE) Gaston Eloundou Esommba provided an update on the ICBC-financed Bini à Warak Hydroelectric Power Plant Project. He noted that the project had been 'on hold' since November 2019 because ICBC suspended the loan agreement, even though the Government of Cameroon had already mobilized XAF 22 billion of counterpart funding. He also explained that 'the reason for this suspension is that Cameroon did not settle some of its debts towards China on time, so, it is in a cross-default situation.’

Additional details

1. The Chinese name of this project is 喀麦隆国家宽带网建设项目. The French project title is Projet de Réseau National à Haut débit. 2. The loan agreement can be accessed in its entirety via SourceID#68635 or 3. The project ID number for this transaction in Cameroon's Development Assistance Database (DAD) is CAM/000816. 4. Phase 2 of this project is captured in linked Project ID#58397. 5. The loan identification number in the Government of Cameroon's Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Recording and Management System (CS-DRMS) is 2012105.

Number of official sources


Number of total sources


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Direct receiving agencies [Type]

Cameroon Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Regional Development (MINEPAT) [Government Agency]

Indirect receiving agencies [Type]

Cameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL) [State-owned Company]

Implementing agencies [Type]

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. [Private Sector]

Government of Cameroon [Government Agency]

Cameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL) [State-owned Company]

Loan Details


20 years

Interest rate


Grace period

5 years

Grant element (OECD Grant-Equiv)


Bilateral loan

Export buyer's credit

Investment project loan

Preferential Buyer's Credit