H.E. Achille BASSILEKIN IIIBiography, write to minister, Agenda
Innovative and permanent dynamics for the benefit of SMESEH
In order to revitalise their economies and create more jobs, many countries are relying on SMEs, craftspeople and social economy actors. Our country, Cameroon, is not on the sidelines of this emerging policy and several support tools have been set up to this end. As the government policymaker responsible for the development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, MINPMEESA developed a set of tools and mechanisms that it monitors and evaluates on a regular basis.
In the SME and Social Economy sector, the results are positive with sound figures. In July 2020, the National Pilot Enterprise Nursery of Edea delivered its first batch of 18 entrepreneurs and project holders already operational ; the Cameroon Subcontracting and Partnership Exchange enabled the profiling or re-profiling of 573 SMEs, the networking of 153 SMEs with clients for 14 partnership contracts signed, the creation of 267 jobs and the signing of 4 partnership agreements with foreign partners for economic development. Through the SME Promotion Agency, eight (08) agreements were signed with banks and 50 promoters’ projects were presented to them for financing.
The Prototyping Fund, whose call for proposals was launched in June 2020, selected 20 innovative projects, 5 of which received awards, with the creator of the disinfecting gate in the first place. Twelve (12) agreements signed amounting to just over CFA F12 billion and 800 jobs created, gave SMEs the opportunity to be eligible for an Investment Charter Scheme. To all this scheme, one should add the strong willingness of MINPMEESA to facilitate the creation of enterprises through, in particular, the Enterprise Creation Procedure Centre and the “MyBusiness.cm” application.
Other mechanisms are being used to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the signing of agreements between MINPMEESA and young promoters. Also worth mentioning are the Empretec and Kaizen projects, as well as the Transfragri programme, through which hundreds of SMEs benefited, among other things, from training sessions in managerial techniques for improving performance and support in the agricultural and agri-food sector.
In the handicraft sector, the challenges of the health crisis have been transformed into opportunities. Craftspeople have further shown dynamism through the mass production of handicraft masks that meet the minimum health safety requirements of the national and international market. The Ministry permanently calls for craftspeople to be more creative and to progressively migrate from the informal to the formal sector, in order to achieve better fulfilment and development. To further support craftspeople, the Ministry has set up, with the support of other technical and strategic actors, a one-stop shop aimed at facilitating the export of Cameroonian handicraft products. The dynamisation of this sector will also be achieved by widening the scope of the Handicraft Communal Offices (HCO) to the popularisation of social security. It would also be opportune to think about integrating handicraft products into the State’s market price list (Mercuriale). The modernisation of this sector remains a major challenge for MINPMEESA, which is trying to design an incentive framework for it. Craftspeople are expected to collaborate fruitfully with the Ministry and above all, to adhere to the mechanisms and programmes made available to them, such as the Approved Management Centres (AMC).
To sum up, there is still a long way to go and MINPMEESA is working hard to improve Cameroon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Browsing the website and exploring the different windows will give you an idea of MINPMEESA’s new dynamics, in real time. I therefore invite you to visit it regularly to discover the innovations and opportunities in terms of support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts. Stay tuned…