With 2015 around the corner, every country is re-evaluating their post-2015 MDGs, checking their achievements so far and putting in place necessary strategies to realize their goals to socially acceptable levels. Cameroon isn’t left out in this effort. Being named amongst the 20 countries to have satisfied MDG#1(Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger), Cameroon must have set up very strong realistic strategies, one of such being encouraging entrepreneurship
In a 3days seminar organized by the Ministry of Small and Medium size Enterprises, Craft and Social Economy, at the Palais Des Congres Yaounde, to celebrate a national day of social economy, the government brought together NGOs, CIGs and Cooperatives to discuss possible strategies to realizing its goals.
The creation in 2004 of this ministry, branded the national recognition of the social economy which has permitted our country to resist the great shock of the economic crisis in the 90s. The government in its documented strategies for growth and development, that covers the first 10 years of Cameroon being an emerging country by 2035, places the development of entrepreneurship at the center of reducing poverty to a socially acceptable level.
The seminar which took place from the 3rd to the 5th of July 2013 was graced with the presence of the Minister of Small and Medium size Enterprises craft and social economy, professor Laurent Serge Etoudi Ngoa and the Secretary General of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Madam Marie Louise Secka Pouka who visited the stands of the various enterprises showcasing their products.
Networking, partnership and collaboration were the key words of the day, reminding CIGs to come under a common umbrella, a cooperative making easy for the government to identify them and recognize their efforts.
Also present were great speakers such as Madam Eyebe Pauline of PFAC, who stressed on the “bottom-up” approach(i.e starting with those at the base of the pyramid)as the ultimate approach for social entrepreneurship the social economy, a sector worth restructuring.
Judging by the number of participants, it was obvious poverty eradication is a national concern and all are willing to participate in the struggle. However, most organizations voiced out the difficulties they face in this struggle some of which were: access to funds, information accessibility and even readily available markets for their finished products. They went ahead to point out the fact that the flooding of our local markets with foreign items makes the consumption of locally made products and almost impossibility.
The most represented groups were women followed by men then youths tailing the queue. The most represented activity was agriculture(one could think it was an agro-pastoral show). This obviously means more women are into agriculture (small farm holders) than any other gender and few youths even look that way as a means of survival.
The 3 days seminar commemorates a moment of national reconnaissance. The challenge is to transform the unsecured jobs into decent and stable jobs and encourage youths to be self sustainable rather than wait on the government to provide jobs. Realizing that collective entrepreneurship, partnership, networking and collaboration of various organizations (cooperatives) is a reliable action plan, the government is making efforts in consolidating the concerned actors and their activities and reinforcing their capacity in making Cameroon a new industrialized country with an intermediary income by 2035.