A group of Cameroonians called the Association of Ingenious Entrepreneurs of Africa (Asenia) commenced a campaign to shift the country’s attention from over-dependence on importation to local manufacturing as part of plans to assist the government in boosting the economy.
The campaign themed “Made in Cameroon” is not only theoretical; practical steps have been taken so far to help bury the idea of self-reliance deep down the hearts and minds of the people. Currently, “Made in Cameroon” shops are gradually being opened across the country.
One Carine Andela who serves as President for the association revealed that, “five years ago, there was only one store dedicated to the MIC mark. We are now at 33.” The concept is not only dealing with the country’s obsession with importation but also creates jobs for the people, boosts the local manufacturing sector as it creates a platform for Indigenous companies to thrive.
Additionally, the “Made in Cameroon” concept is attracting Cameroonians in the Diaspora to return home and help in the nation building agenda. Gaelle Laura Zambou who returned from Germany to set-up a firm to produce and sell purely local products told reporters that, she has never regretted the decision of leaving her job as a consultant for BMW in Germany.
Currently, Zambou sources raw materials from the locals to produce local Spices, especially spicy salt. “Our concept is to promote MIC (Made in Cameroon) by highlighting local products because that is what makes the economy grow,” she said.
Several local manufacturers are also venturing into productions inline with the narrative which is expected to be accepted by the people as the new normal. A gentleman named Samuel Safo has also started his pumpkin seed-shelling plant in Montee Jouvence.
“It took 27 years of research to get to this factory,” he said whilst adding that, “the machines are totally made in Cameroon, and we made it a point of honour not only to process product locally, but also to show young people that it can be done and that it is not rocket science.”
The Campaign which mainly targets the youth considered to be the economically active population of the central African country is gradually creeping down the hearts of many Cameroonians. Do you think other African countries should adopt this approach?