2023 SBEC Annual Forum
Boosting the Competitiveness of SMEs to Accelerate Structural Transformation and Inclusive Development in Cameroon
Date: August 3 & 4, 2023
Time: 09:00 – 15:00 (GMT+1)
Venue: Djeuga Palace Hotel – Yaoundé (By Invitation)
Zoom Online (Online Registration)
In the new National Development Strategy 2020-2030 (NDS30), Cameroon’s government expressed its desire to change the structure of the country’s economy in terms of value-added and employment. By defining the objective of increasing manufacturing production to 25% of GDP by 2030, the government has set itself the goal of shifting the production system from the primary sector (raw material exported) to a manufacturing sector, with high added value and massive job creation for all.
At the same time, the economy’s structural transformation depends on several factors. For instance, the government should take measures to increase the productivity of family farms in rural areas and strengthen the dynamics of the industrial sector, as well as develop production infrastructure. To achieve this, it plans to develop industries and services to facilitate Cameroon’s overall economic integration and accelerate imports/substitutions.
In addition, the government has set itself the mission of developing and increasing the productivity and competitiveness of agricultural products by focusing on a few products for which the country has a comparative advantage over other countries in the sub-region. These include rice, maize, cocoa/coffee, cotton, sugarcane, palm nuts, rubber, sorghum, cassava, potatoes, plantain, milk, honey, fish, meat, wood products and non-wood forest products sectors. The goal is to take advantage of regional and continental integration by boosting national markets, increasing trade and investment flows, and reducing infrastructure deficiencies.
In the course of this transformation process, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially those led/run by women and youth, are recognized as key players, as they represent over 98 percent of the business population. Unfortunately, most of these SMEs remain trapped in the informal sector. Hence, the need to provide these production units with the necessary means, so that they can make a major contribution to the economic modernization that is needed.
To achieve the growth objectives set for 2030, the Cameroonian government and all other actors of the Cameroonian entrepreneurial ecosystem should succeed in unleashing the enormous potential of SMEs. This would enable them to manufacture competitive finished products to be put on the market, and to offer high value-added services, creating more growth and jobs.
It is in this perspective that the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, is organizing an SME forum to gather input from stakeholders to boost the structural transformation of the Cameroonian economy with the financial support from the Rising Tide Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation. Foundation.
- Objectives of the Forum
The objective of this forum is to discuss with the different actors of the Cameroonian entrepreneurial ecosystem the levers to be implemented in the short term, to have a critical mass of enterprises “national champions” representing flagships or leaders in the key sectors of the Cameroonian economy. More specifically, it will be a matter of discussing urgent measures to be taken into account in order to:
- Foster the development and competitiveness of local SMEs.
- Develop national value chains.
- Facilitate the access of Cameroonian SMEs to emerging or high potential markets.
- Reinforce the protection of the national economic space.
- Develop alternative financing mechanisms to bank financing.
- Advocate for solid policy change to create a favorable environment for SMEs to formalize
- Expected outcome of the Event
Stakeholders are convinced of the need to significantly reduce the costs associated with business creation and development, particularly for women- and youth-led enterprises, to speed structural transformation and inclusive development in Cameroon.
State representatives in Cameroon
- Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts (MINPMEESA)
- Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation (MINRESI)
- Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education (MINJEC)
- Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family (MINPROFF)
- Ministry of Higher Education (MINESUP)
- Ministry of Commerce (MINCOMMERCE).
- Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MINTSS)
- Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training (MINEFOF)
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER)
- Investment Promotion Agency (API)
- Agency for the Promotion of SMEs (APME)
- Employer Organizations
- Business support organizations
- Capital providers
- Professional associations;
- NGOs & CBOs;
- Higher institutions of learning – universities;
- Vocational schools
- Public personalities
Email: [email protected] / Tel: (+237) 654 86 72 54.
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