Cameroon Business Forum: Government and private sector talk business

The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang has chaired the ninth edition of the Cameroon Business Forum (CBF) in Douala.
The event was organised under the theme, “Financing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and developing the Cameroonian industrial base.
In a keynote address this 12th March 2018, Prime Minister Philemon Yang exhorted SMEs to work to win the confidence of financial partners.
The participants at the forum then took turns to present their worries about the existing business climate in Cameroon.

Some of the impediments identified include;
– The lengthy procedure to clear goods at the Douala port
– The outstanding debt owed SMEs by Government
– A review of the public contract procedures that have resulted to abandoned projects.
The Prime Minister was accompanied to the forum by heads of a number of Ministerial Departments.
Each of the Ministers concerned took turns to give convincing explanations, reiterating Government’s resolve to empower Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Cameroon.
They pointed to a number of policy actions in favour of this category of businesses. Some include;
– Government’s intention to bring in private partners in the management of the Bank for SMEs
– The elaboration of a payment calender for all public contracts to combat corruption
At the end of discussions, all were agreed that there is an urgent need for reforms in the tax and public contract management necessary for economic growth.
The Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Handicrafts, Laurent Serge Ngoa called on SMEs to improve on their technical and organisational skills to attract private investors and enhance competition.
About the Cameroon Business Forum
The Cameroon Business Forum is a public-private sector dialogue mechanism put in place in 2006 to improve the business climate.
It was initiated by the Government of Cameroon and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group.

The CBF became operational in 2009 and has as objectives:
– Promoting an efficient public-private dialogue
– Removing obstacles to the business environment through reforms
– Enhancing growth of the Private Sector
-Identification of reforms to improve on the investment climate
– Improvement of Cameroon’s position in the Doing Business and other rating agencies
– Promoting the development of both local and foreign investments in Cameroon.

Eleanor Ayuketah

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