Bafoussam, chief town of the West region experienced a particular effervescence with the visit of the Minister of SMEs. His stay was marked by two major activities such as; the launching of the local entrepreneurship and self-employment exhibition and a visit to the Bafoussam Handicraft Village.


Early morning on Monday 26 October 2020, the Minister of Small and  Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Mr Achille BASSILEKIN III, presided over the opening ceremony of the local entrepreneurship and self-employment exhibition that took place in the Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office of the West Region. This exhibition took place in the Mifi Division from 26 to 27 October 2020. It was honoured by the presence of the Governor of the West Region as well as administrative, municipal and parliamentary officials of Bafoussam.

The main objectives of this exhibition were to search and identify ideas, projects and local enterprises with local added value, to build development and local projection capacity of such identified projects and ideas at local level and especially, put in place a technical and financial support mechanism of local entrepreneurs.

 According to Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III, this first phase of the local itinerant entrepreneurship exhibitions enabled actors to map the activities to be carried out in the nine (9) other regions of Cameroon. “This platform is the result of a tripartite collaboration among the State, the Parliamentarians and mayors aimed at exploring, on the one hand, ways to achieve the transfer of competences at the local level”. On the other hand, ensuring the support of entrepreneurs so that they should be recognised and valued as creators of wealth and employment at the local level’, he said.

This event brought together project and ideas holders as well as enterprise leaders, Regional and local authorities, institutions, technical and financial support mechanisms, international organisations and the Employer’s organisations. Workshops, project exhibitions, B2B meetings, sharing of experience and meetings with experts were the mainstay of this forum.

At the end of this forum, project ideas and enterprises with local added value were identified. In addition, a programme for the development and local projection of project and business ideas was also adopted, as well as a technical and financial support mechanism for entrepreneurs at local level. The Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicraft (MINPMEESA) which has amongst its goals, the promotion of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship culture by offering its sponsorship to this dynamic, intends to provide young entrepreneurs with all its support and assistance so that they can enhance entrepreneurial culture and play a key role in the development of our country.

The second phase of this working visit took the Head of the Ministry and his delegation to the construction site of the Handicraft village of the West Region, located in Bafoussam.  The aim of this visit was to evaluate work progress. Given the delay in the completion of the said work, the Minister set a dateline of twenty-one (21) days, that is, 15 December 2020 for the work to be completed. The Governor of the West Region, Mr Awa FONKA Augustine was tasked with ensuring that the dateline is respected. It is on this note that the Minister’s busy day came to an end.

To bid farewell, the Minister of SMESEH took part in a working session, presided over by the Secretary General, Mr TCHANA Joseph. This session focussed on assessing progress made in the coaching process of entrepreneurs, Social Economy promoters and craftspeople in applying for the Economic Recovery Fund for the productive sector; the working dynamics within regional and divisional delegations; and the pragmatic reorganisation of the activities of delegates on the field. Directors, Delegates, the Regional and the Divisional Delegates from the West Region took part in this working session.

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