Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon is hosting the first edition of the Central Africa Economic Forum, which opened on Wednesday and runs until May 26th under the theme “Financing and economic partnerships to boost the development of SMEs in Central Africa.”
This forum which brings together investors and project holders aims to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Central Africa.
With the ultimate aim of improving the business climate, workshops on themes related to the competitiveness of SMEs and B2B meetings will be organized during the forum, to encourage innovation and technological development within Central African SMEs.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, Cameroon’s Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy, and Handicrafts, Achille Bassilekin III, announced that the financing needs of Cameroon’s SMEs amounted to hundreds of billions of CFA francs, but that barely 18% of the national economy’s resources were mobilized in this direction.
Consequently, the minister stressed the need to explore new horizons for mobilizing financing in the context of post-COVID-19 recovery and the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).