The second edition of the forum has wrapped up in Douala with several projects begging for funding as Cameroon seeks to develop its local industries and attracts foreign direct investments.
Exactly two years after the first edition of Cameroon Investment forum that saw positive fallouts according to organisers , the second edition presided at by the representative of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, on November 9, 2017 is expected to yield juicy fruits not only for project promoters and technical and financial partners, but also for the Cameroon government. Participants of the investment forum that included investors, project leaders, economic operators, heads of financial institutions, development partners, the government, employer organisations and the Cameroon diaspora, keenly listened to the representative of the Prime Minister; Ernest Gbwaboubou read out Cameroons Industrialisation Master Plan (IMP).
The Industrialisation Master Plan which is the nation’s blueprint document for industrial development is in line with the Head of State’s 31th December, 2015 address to the nation when he mentioned that the development of a nation has to be through the putting in place of preliminary conditions. According to the Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Ernest Gbwaboubou, the preliminary conditions include the development of diversified energy policies, the putting in place of a competitive and secured judicial and financial system, and the conceptualisation of an industrial policy for the processing of local products among others. The IMP that constitute 13 documents including a report on the state of Cameroonian industries and 11 annex documents is built on three main objectives; the reinforcement of industries’ contribution to economic growth, the acceleration of national industrial integration and the positioning of the document as a veritable vector of economic development.
The three main pillars of the master plan which are agro-industry, energy and digitalisation, will cut across five main sectors including forest and wood, textile and leather, hydrocarbon- petro-chemistry and refinery, metal and steel, and pharmaceutical industry. The Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) charge with the organisation of the high level forum, through its General Manager, Marthe Angeline Minja, disclosed that the balance-sheet of the maiden 2015 edition saw the signing of 134 conventions with private sector for an estimated value of FCFA 3,000 billion as well as some expected 47,000 direct employment to be generated. IPA that sets up a database of projects available for investors, contributes to the development and implementation of government policy in the investment field and promotes Cameroon’s image abroad, will act as a catalyst for brainstorming and exchange around the operational implementation of the IMP.
IPA Deputy General Manager disclosed during the event that they selected about 500 projects during the first edition and shortlisted 25 whose contracts with banks and investors will be finalised during the second edition. “We don’t only attract, but search possibilities of financing projects,” he pointed out. The Ministers of Agriculture and that of Housing and the Secretary General of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development presented business opportunities within the IMP targeted areas of their various ministries.