The Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) H.E. Christopher John LAMORA had an  audience with Achille BASSILEKIN III, the Minister of Small and Medium- Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts (MINPMEESA), on 27 July  2022.

At the end of this audience , the Ambassador highlighted the fact that he came to listen the concerns, identify the needs and wishes of actors in this sector . He mentioned that there are areas whereby, the two institutions could work together. He plans to network Cameroonian SMEs with their counterparts of the USA.

The Minister of SMESEH on his part, expressed his satisfaction after the discussions with H.E Christopher John LAMORA. It was agreed that both parties will set up a training programme to strengthen technical capacities to produce goods that meet American standards; institutionalise a “Cameroon-USA SME Day” to promote the “Made in Cameroon” label in the USA; and establish a framework for cooperation with the Peace Corps in order to support VSEs and Social Economy Units. In addition, Social Economy Units could benefit from small grants from the Embassy to support them.

It should be noted that this audience, which lasted more than an hour, is based on  strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the sector of MINPMEESA’s competences and the achievement of the Government’s objectives within the framework of the NDS-30. It made it possible for the two personalities to have an  exchange on capacity building for SMESEH in order to upgrade local products to meet American standards, as well as support for Handicraft Villages in the development of ICTs in order to  promote online sales through virtual galleries.

In the same light, there were points of interest related to the reintegration of Cameroon into the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for the benefit of SMEs; a support for the National Pilot Enterprise Nurseery in Edéa; and support for the programmes of the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises PromotionAgency (APME). As a reminder, SMEs occupy an important place in the ecosystem with an economic fabric composed of 99.8% of SMEs, 84.2% of which are in the tertiary sector, 15.63% in the secondary sector and 0.17% in the primary sector,  thus ,a total of 324 250 SMEs.

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