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Olembé Complex: Cameroon and Magil in reconciliation mode

Complexe d’Olembé -Cameroun
Olembé Complex: Cameroon and Magil in reconciliation mode

Having been at loggerheads in international courts for many months, the Cameroonian government and the Canadian company have reached an agreement for the imminent resumption of work on the Olembé Complex, which hosted the opening ceremony of the 2021 African Cup of Nations.

A glimmer of hope shines on the Complexe Sportif d'Olembé in Yaoundé. Stalled for almost a year, construction work on the infrastructure that hosted the opening and final of the 2021 African Cup of Nations is set to resume in October. This is the result of a memorandum of understanding that the State of Cameroon has just signed with Magil Construction.This crucial agreement puts an end to months of dispute between the two parties.

After months of negotiations and arbitration, the Cameroonian government and Magil have decided to turn the page on the dispute that has paralyzed the project since March 2023.A procès-verbal of conciliation, drawn up on August 8, 2023 thanks to the active collaboration of the Cameroonian Task Force dedicated to the project, finally paved the way for the signing of a transactional memorandum of understanding.

Magil makes a new commitment

Magil Construction, still determined to see the Olembé Sports Complex through to completion, has presented a schedule for restarting activities. "This commitment is part of a roadmap that will enable the residual work on the main stadium and the construction of ancillary infrastructure to be completed in a relatively short time frame", the company promises. According to the Fayolle Group subsidiary, next week will mark the start of the removal of reservations, the remobilization of personnel, and the return of the materials needed to continue and complete the work. This gratifying progress brings delivery of the project closer, a moment eagerly awaited by Cameroon.

Reconciliation after the accusations

The dispute between Cameroon and Magil Construction was referred to the Paris International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in March 2023. A month later, the ICC ruled in favor of Magil, ordering Cameroon to pay 23.3 million euros (just over 15 billion CFA francs), plus a daily fine of 20,000 euros in the event of delay.

At the time, Cameroon's Minister of Sports accused Magil of having put in place "stratagems to artificially inflate its services by slowing down work, stopping it altogether, over-invoicing, double invoicing, exponential remuneration of expatriate staff, etc.". He then resolved not to pay a single franc to the company, which he claimed had already received payments estimated at nearly 42 billion CFA francs (over 64 million euros).

Read also: Stade Ebimpé: exaggerated figures, apologies from the Minister of Sports signed in 2020 for a total of 54.822 billion CFA francs (over 83.6 million euros), the project includes the construction of a shopping mall, a 70-room 5-star hotel, an Olympic swimming pool, a 2,000-seat indoor gymnasium, two basketball courts, two volleyball courts and four tennis courts.

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