The project is a part of government efforts to bring cities and towns up to acceptable standards.
Moves towards becoming an emerging nation appeal for modern social houses to facelift cities and towns as well as meet needs where the issue of housing arises more acutely. The general approach of authorities to this problem has been to come up with edifices more fascinating than existing affordable social houses. With the import of local architects from Cabinet Bissek in Yaounde, President Paul Biya’s vision for an emerging Cameroon is being transformed into reality as the construction of 1,050 modern apartment houses, dubbed Cité des Cinquantenaires, is underway on the former site of Cité des Douanes in Bonapriso, Douala.
Workers of China Shanxi Construction Engineering (Group) Co. are working tooth and nail in order to respect the 30 months deadline for the project to be complete. Having started with geotechnical studies of the site on November 15, 2016 and later installation, technicians are currently excavating for construction to begin. The 4,000-metres square piece of land on which stood the former Cité des douanes is receiving a new look following kick off of Phase I of the project along the Njo-Njo Street. Estimated to cost FCFA 24 billion, the apartment houses will be furnished with a swimming pool of Olympic standard, a shopping mall and offices including other modern facilities.
Launched by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Jean Claude Mbwentchou, on May 27, the project features on www.cabinetbissek.com and www.doualarchipole.com, as one of many modern social houses to be set up in Douala and Yaounde with purpose of improving living condition of city dwellers while modernising the cities. The scheme was announced by President Paul Biya at the 3rd congress of the CPDM in 2011. Some city dwellers opine that the modern designs on the websites, like a Convention Centre which is being proposed for Tsinga in Yaounde, should allow for a switch to such a housing scheme.