Launched on 15 November 2022 at the Yaounde Multipurpose Sports Complex by the Minister of SMEs, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Achille BASSILEKIN III, the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is organised around a series of activities for the benefit of entrepreneurs throughout the national territory.

The official launching ceremony, which brought together entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the ecosystem, provided an opportunity to present the innovation and entrepreneurship platform, a digital platform designed to boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem in that it serves as a bank of innovative projects adapted to consumer needs, likely to attract investors. This platform also encourages the sharing of experience between stakeholders through their different accounts. In addition to digital, the platform provides a national networking system for entrepreneurial innovation clubs. Everyone can open an account on the platform. Entrepreneurs, students, regional and local authorities, higher education institutions, etc. once registered, can meet a strong community of other stakeholders. Entrepreneurs are in support of this initiative as it will increase their visibility. According to Ruth Ngonda Malong, promoter of the company Afrika Development Solution, “this celebration is another way to showcase my know-how and present my innovative projects that can be hosted and promoted on the digital platform.”

Before the Platform was launched by the Minister for SMEs, he spoke about the key words of this celebration, namely “inspire, connect, mobilise, boost and celebrate” entrepreneurship, which requires “a lot of commitment, perseverance and resilience.”

This 4th edition themed “Innovation and revitalisation of the entrepreneurial ecosystem”, aims at equipping SMEs to meet the demands of globalisation in terms of quality, cost and deadlines; to learn about new technical and technological processes in the trades; to increase the local supply of goods and services; to achieve productivity gains; and to boost economic growth and innovation. In the same light, it was an opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on new and relevant directions in order to make strategic choices aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, determining factors in accelerating inclusive growth.

Densified activities

 After the launching ceremony in Yaounde, many other activities are planned in other regions of the country, such as field visits, the organisation of Made in Cameroon exhibition/sales fairs, open days, seminars, conferences and workshops, the revitalisation of entrepreneurial clubs, awareness campaigns, etc.

On 16 November 2022, the Minister of SMEs, Social Economy and Handicrafts, personal representative of the Head of State at the 3rd Edition of the African Women Entrepreneurs Forum, launched activities for this new edition. FAFE is a pan-African organisation that brings together women entrepreneurs from all walks of life and from all African countries. While congratulating the President of FAFE, the Minister of SMEs stated that he was “convinced that the B2B meetings will not only empower women entrepreneurs from different African countries, but further shed light on the vision of the continental free trade area before they return to their various countries.”

According to Catherine Samba-Panza, special guest of this edition and former Head of State of the Transitional Government of the Central African Republic, “her presence at this event reflects her message of solidarity with women in Africa and elsewhere who are fighting to advance their businesses.”

The launching ceremony of this edition was attended by members of government, foreign delegations, special guests, the diplomatic corps, delegates from 14 countries and the guest of honour Mrs Catherine SAMBA PANZA, former Head of the Transition in CAR. The inaugural lecture, delivered by Professor NKOAH, had as theme “Female entrepreneurship and AfCFTA: Stakes, challenges and opportunities”.

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