The audience granted to Mrs. Virginie DAGO, Country Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Cameroon, is part of the intensification of sectoral cooperation between MINPMEESA and AFD. The two personalities analysed their bilateral relationship and envisaged new prospects.

During the audience, H.E. Achille Bassilekin III, Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, seized the opportunity to express to the Director of AFD, the satisfaction of our country for the support of AFD, particularly for the TRANSFAGRI programme, whose Phase 1 (2018-2022) has expired, and will be soon followed by Phase 2. In addition, MINPMEESA submitted to AFD the draft of a Support Programme for the Development of Production Units in the agri-food, textile-cotton-clothing-leather and wood processing sectors (PADUP-CAM). He also expressed the wish that AFD involve MINPMEESA more in the various programmes it implements in Cameroon, notably CHOOSE AFRICA, whose phase 2 is currently being implemented, in order to better focus its interventions on Government priorities. Moreover, the Minister of SMESEH presented to the Director of AFD the expectations of the Ministry for which the participation of AFD will be requested in due course. In the course of the discussions, the possibility of setting up a joint working group was envisaged to pursue exchanges between the technical services of the two structures in order to concretise the areas of collaboration identified.

Speaking to the press at the end of the meeting, H.E. Achille Bassilekin III added that “beyond the classic tracks that participate in SMEs’ building capacities in the agri-food sector, emphasis was laid upon new projects that revolve around the implementation, with the help of the AFD, of a development programme, the strengthening of SMEs in the agro-industrial sector, the textile-clothing-leather sector, but above all in the wood processing sector. It is through these sectors that the various programmes with support lines, notably PROPARCO, AFD’s branch and CHOOSE AFRICA, can be deployed.”

For her part, Mrs. Virginie DAGO, Director of the AFD, indicated that this visit enabled her to analyse the existing situation, particularly the cooperation within the framework of the TRANSFAGRI programme. She also pointed out that MINPMEESA is carrying out appreciable activities on which AFD intends to rely to envisage new actions.

It’s worth remembering that since 2015, France and Cameroon have been cooperating through the Programme of agricultural and agri-food processing SMEs (PMEAA) transferred since 2018 to APME under the TRANSFAGRI programme, financially supported by the French Development Agency. It aims at capturing the “enterprise” dimension of production units in rural areas, known for their vulnerability and fragility, by ensuring that their main functions of production (of goods and services), marketing and management, are properly fulfilled in order to participate more actively in the economic growth of Cameroon.

It should be recalled that France has many cooperation tools that can support the development of Cameroon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, in particular the French Development Agency (AFD) which implements France policy with regards to development and international solidarity and supports MINPMEESA in the implementation of policies in favour of its targets, by financing many programmes. PROPARCO, an AFD branch, is in charge of supporting the private sector.

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