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Transformative African Road Engineering Consortium (TAREC) is a not-for-profit organization
consisting of business leaders, entrepreneurs, corporations, community leaders, local farmers
and traders, civil engineers, and other donors dedicated to transforming poor African
communities by connecting them with modern roads.

We have come together under the conviction that communities do not prosper in isolation –
they are nourished through their interaction with other communities, each providing the others
with needed resources, expertise, and markets for their goods and services. The key to linking
communities in this way? Roads – durable, high-quality roads. Modern farm-to-market roads
can transform poor African agricultural communities isolated by crude, hand-made dirt roads
into booming centers of commerce, while at the same time enhancing the quality of life for
the members of those communities.

Case in point: Kumbo, Cameroon. Community building projects in the 1960’s established
makeshift farm-to-market dirt roads that nevertheless transformed Kumbo into the agricultural
and commercial center that it is today. Major production and commerce in rice, ginger, palm
oil, beans, potatoes, cola nut, and coffee were but a few of the benefits of these primitive
routes. These same crude roads today are unfit for the transportation and trade demanded by
the modern world.

While those interested in development in African communities like Kumbo tend to focus on
handouts and quick remedies, in extensive interviews with Dr. Wingo, African farmers and
traders report that a major obstacle to their ability to compete and prosper in the modern
global economy is the lack of quality farm-to-market roads. Dr. Wingo’s research found that
economic growth and development has been stymied by poor farm-to-market roads: in dry
weather, dust and uneven surfaces slow traffic to a crawl, while in the rain these same roads
are an impassible morass of mud and giant potholes. Replace those rude trails with a ribbon
of compacted dirt roads and Kumbo will have a chance to demonstrate its economic potential,
to become the breadbasket and business hub not only of Cameroon, but of neighboring
countries – such as Gabon, Chad, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea – as well. Farmers who had
no reliable way to get produce to market or supplies to their farms will increase their efficiency,
while consumers in the region would benefit from more reliable and less expensive food
sources. In short, the use of modern technology to construct and maintain existing farm-to-
market roads holds the promise of revolutionary change for places like Kumbo in the health
of its people, in entrepreneurship among locals, and in the economic vitality of the region.

TAREC is asking corporations to join it in bringing about this transformation by donating late
model used equipments that has working order rating of “good.” We are selecting four young
individuals from Cameroon to be trained in equipment maintenance and operation. These
individuals will form the core of a team that will in turn train other young people in their
communities. In doing so, they will not only create the workforce for building and maintaining
the new roads, but will also help develop the skilled workers needed to sustain economic
growth and to help individuals help themselves prosper in the global economy.
The development brought on by well-maintained farm-to-market roads in Kumbo can serve
as a model for alleviating economic hardship and spurring business elsewhere. Our goal is to
provide a brand new, sustainable model for transforming poor agricultural and trading
communities into modern business centers.

TAREC’s founders are Mrs. Karen Jones, Mr. Jonathan Jones and Dr. Ajume Wingo. Dr. Wingo, a native of Cameroon, is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy and the Director of the Center for Values and Social Policy at the University of Colorado at Boulder and also an Associate of the Du Bois Institute at Harvard. Mr. Jones is a native of Colorado and CEO of Wright Water Engineering in Denver. Mrs. Jones is a native of Colorado and a Civil Engineer. Dr. William Yearsley serves as an advisor to TAREC. Dr. Yearsley is a co-founder and former CEO of American Civil Constructors, a former CEO of Redland Aggregates (a construction materials and roadway contracting business with revenues of $1.5 billion and approximately 10,000 employees), and presently Nicholas R. Petry Professor of Construction Engineering and Management at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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