The 2nd edition of CBT Champions, organised by the Cameroon News and Publishing Corporation with the support of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development was held on 8 December 2022 at the Hilton Hotel under the patronage of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr. Joseph DION NGUTE. The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Achille BASSILEKIN III, Personal Representative of the Prime Minister, in his speech expressed his deep gratitude to the Prime Minister for this appointment. He then congratulated the General Manager of Sopecam for this initiative which contributes to the development of youth entrepreneurship. “The emulation created through this event is to be commended and encouraged in order to take up the challenge of growth and structural transformation of the economy,” the Minister of SMEs added. The Government promises the young laureates favourable conditions for their support in order to revitalise the national market, which is still untapped, and to flood it with quality products in a competitive environment.
In his welcome address, the General Manager of Sopecam, Marie Claire Nana, expressed her deep gratitude to the Prime Minister for his continuous support to Sopecam’s activities and missions. Words of gratitude were also addressed to other Members of Government present, as well as to the technical and financial partners of the event. She wished the five winners to become, beyond CBT champions “Made in Cameroon”, national champions through their hard work.
Prioritising the pillars of the NDS30
Out of a total of 135 shortlisted companies, ten were nominated after a selection process and five were awarded in categories. The first prize in the Gold Champion category, which comes with a cash prize of CFAF 5 million, a trophy and a diploma, was won by Aurora Building Materials Co Ltd, which specialises in the production of clay bricks and other building materials. The second Silver Champion prize, consisting of a cheque for FCFA 3.5 million, a trophy and a diploma, was awarded to MJC Shoes, a company specialising in the manufacture of leather shoes. Rehoboth, a company specialising in the production and processing of honey, was awarded the third Bronze Champion prize along with a cheque for CFA francs 2 million. The fourth prize, called the Special Jury Prize, and the fifth prize, called the Best SME Hope Prize, each accompanied by a cheque for CFA F one million, were won respectively by the companies Fop’s Color, specialised in the production of chalk, and Foods and Beverages Engineering, specialised in the cashew nut industry. The winning companies are mainly invested in the agri-food and leather processing sectors, which are important pillars of the national development strategy 2020-2030.
These companies are also rewarded for their innovation, creativity and their willingness, despite the current economic situation, to create added value, jobs and wealth. They also contribute to the influence of the “Made in Cameroon” label in “open markets that are just waiting to be conquered”, as the Minister of SMEESA pointed out.
Through this initiative, SOPECAM intends to support the national policy of economic patriotism, by giving more prominence to “Cameroonian consumption, local processing and the import-substitution policy”.