“Several avenues exist for the growth of Crafts and SME organisations in Cameroon. Nonetheless, they require huge amounts of funding to keep the sector abreast especially with the current global competitiveness as a result of the ongoing pandemic”. It was with these words that Mrs. CHINDO Emilia personal representative of Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III presided over the opening ceremony of the 1st Edition of the Handicrafts and SME days (JAPME) that took place on the 10th of November 2021 at the esplanade of the Yaoundé Town hall.
Organized by the Afrika Development Solutions under the distinguished sponsorship of MINPMEESA and under the theme: Upgrading and facilitating access to finance for craftsmanship and SMEs in the context of COVID-19, these days are aimed at creating favorable frameworks for the financing, training and promotion of crafts and SME products made in Cameroon. It also serves as a forum for the meet up and networking amongst project holders, craftsmen and women, SMEs, Development actors, financial institutions and operators.
Speaking at the event, Mme. CHINDO Emilia called on all actors concerned to show special interest in the development and promotion processes of the Cameroon entrepreneurial ecosystem in general and that of the crafts and SME sectors in particular. To this effect, she called on experts and participants to freely express themselves in the course of exchanges so as to bring to the lime light factors that will be beneficial to the Cameroon economy in the face of curbing the COVID-19 pandemic.
On her part, Mrs. Abamet Ruth, promoter of the event stated that that the events is timely given that it will serve as a tool to revive the private sector in general and that of the Crafts and SME sectors in particular that has witnessed a breakdown in its activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It should be noted that the Handicrafts and SME days running from the 6th to the 12th of November 2021 will be characterized by discussions and training sessions aimed at educating SMEs, craftsmen and women on how to adapt to the changing SME environment negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, special topics on the Programs like agricultural and food processing, upgrading of crafts and SME products as well as financing will be imparted with the aim facilitating crafts and SME organizations to catch up with the changes imposed by COVID-19 as concerns the production, marketing and distribution of SME and craft products.
Worthy to mention that the event also witnessed the presence of the German ambassador to Cameroon, Mrs. Corinna Fricke.