Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute, the representative of the President of the Republic, on December 17, 2020 chaired the official inauguration ceremony of the imposing structure.
The Prime Minister, Head of Government Joseph Dion Ngute on behalf of the Head of State, Paul Biya on December 17, 2020 presided at the inauguration ceremony of the Douala Grand Mall and Business Park. He described it as national pride and a supplementary significant step toward Cameroon’s economic emergence. The mall, according to the Prime Minister, strengthens the position of Douala as Cameroon’s economic capital.
The Douala Grand Mall now stands out conspicuously at the Boulevard de l’Aviation at the Bonadiwoto neighborhood on the way to the Douala International Airport in Cameroon’s economic capital. As presented by Mathurin Jidjouc Kamdem, the Chief Executive Officer of the Douala Retail and Convention Centre (DRCC) and promoter of the project, the mall is a shopping centre, which is the first of its kind in Central Africa and is classified as a “green building” as it complies with international environmental standards.
The first phase of the project was completed in September 2020. It consisted of building five-screen multiplex cinema, Carrefour Market, a spa, restaurants, a leisure centre, shopping areas and stores. Since the start of the construction phase, nearly 3,200 Cameroonian workers, technicians and engineers have worked there. The work led by the South African contractor Raubex-Renovo began in April 2018 with the laying of the foundation stone. The second phase called Business Park will consist of the construction of a hotel and an office park. Its construction will start in 2021. The mall official states that at the end of the second phase, about 4,500 direct and indirect jobs will be created and it will cost over FCFA 80 billion. The first phase cost FCFA 50 billion.
The information fact sheet of the Douala Grand Mall indicates that the project that has benefited from government’s investment incentive policy is the result of partnership between the British Investment Fund, Actis, and local company, Craft Contractors. The shopping centre is built on nearly 38, 000 square metres, for 18,500 square metres of retail space, developed by Actis through its local subsidiary Douala Retail and Convention Centre (DRCC). Over 300,000 visitors are expected in the mall every month.
Specifically, the mall has 140 stores, a spa, 22 restaurants, one Carrefour Market, a playground and Daycare for children, fashion, high-tech, cosmetics areas, equipment and decoration areas. It also has 640 parking spaces, a Total Petrol Station, services such as banks, insurance and pharmacy, optician, car wash. About 30 local companies are involved in the project. The structure also has two escalators, one translator and six lifts.