“The Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises day (MSMEs) lay a foundation for the impetus of MSMEs to meet up with the digital and other challenges they often encounter”. It was with these words that Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III opened this year’s edition of the days for MSMEs that took place on the 27th of June 2022 at the Yaounde Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines in the presence of the Resident Representative of the United Nations System in Cameroon alongside the Turkish Ambassador to Cameroon and the Director General of CAMTEL. It is worth noting that this ceremony also served as an opportunity to handover Cheques worth 100. 000.000 frs CFA( One million frs. CFA) which is government’s subvention to 12 projects of the first batch of the National Pilot Business Nursery in Edea.

Celebrated under the central theme “Enterprise digitalisation: Stakes, challenges and prospects”, the objective of this year’s edition of the MSMEs days is to raise awareness amongst stakeholders of the Cameroonian entrepreneurship ecosystem on the vital role that MSMEs play in achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the National Development Strategy 2020-2030 (NDS30). This achievement could be seen in the light of inclusive growth and decent job creation in Cameroon.

Talking on behalf of the Resident Representative of the United Nations System in Cameroon, Olivier Guillaume Beer stressed on the undeniable role of MSMEs in the growth of any economy. Thus he mentioned the role they play in poverty reduction and employment creation especially amongst the disadvantaged population such as women, handicapped, internally displaced and refugees. He further stated that despite the role they play, their activities are still affected by challenges such as the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and their lack of finances and other vital resources such as up to date technology. He further reassured MSMEs to often count on the UN’s commitment in bring forth their potentials, improving their productivity thereby contributing to National and global development.

While expressing his gratitude to the Resident Representative of the United Nations System in Cameroon and all stakeholders present, Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III traced the roots of the Days of MSMEs. He stated that the Day was instituted by the UN resolution A/RES/71/279 of 6th of April 2017 so as to realise the SDGs. As such, the days give room for a global dynamic of exchanges on the milestone and challenges of MSMEs as well as the promotion of their activities.  It also entails sensitization on the role MSMEs play in the realization of Cameroon’s National Development as well as strategizing on better ways in which they can carry out their activities for a better outcome. Making allusion to this year’s theme, Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III reiterated the fact that the activities and output of MSMEs are still hindered by some major challenges such as the tariff barriers and the absence of some vital resources with special emphasis on digital technology which can contribute to boasting entrepreneurial productivity of MSMEs. To this effect, the Minister buttressed on the fact that MSMEs need continuous assistance and follow-up from public and private partner institutions for them to overcome these challenges. He further stated that this can be done with the assistance of digital partners by reinforcing MSMEs’ access to digital resources so that they can meet up with ICT exigencies in carrying out entrepreneurial activities. Expatiating on the just awarded cheques, Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III declared that the selection was done based on financing criteria such as the nature and degree of the project’s maturity. He further exalted everyone present to be part of the rich  conferences and debates that dwelled on government’s policies and also invited those present to visit the exposition stands  so as to have a first-hand experience of Cameroonian creativity and innovations.

It is worth noting that the celebration of the MSME day will include conference-debates and training on public and private stakeholder’s initiatives in facilitating digitalisation for enterprises and digital marketing. The event also entail a specialised fair for entrepreneurs specialised in digital innovations. The celebration will end up with a working visit of the Minister of SMESEH to three MSMEs in Yaounde on June 24, 2022.

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