“Invest in Cameroon”, the Yaounde International Economic Conference held in May 2016 is slow to produce the expected results.
In May 2016, the International Conference of Yaoundé was held under the theme: “Invest in Cameroon, a land of opportunity“. In its publication of May 18, 2017, Baromètre Communautaire recalls that “more than 500 participants were working to find concrete and pragmatic solutions to further improve the investment conditions in Cameroon“. Thus, investors had the promise of trade agreements that facilitate the export of Cameroonian products to the subregion, Europe, and the United States. The Government has boasted Cameroon as an island of peace, highlighted the availability of a dynamic and cheap labor force and above all reassured about the abundance of natural resources.
A year later, it was virtually impossible to see the fruits of the resolutions taken during the conference, the 25 projects presented for a financing requirement of 1662.5 billion FCFA, having achieved nothing. “People are regularly informed of the arrival of foreign investors in search of bargains. But after, nothing. The opening of a branch of a subsidiary of the Chinese equipment manufacturer ZTE, called ZTE Cameroon Sarl, was just opened in Yaoundé. For the rest, it is difficult to say where will actually be built the vehicle assembly plant announced for years, the first specimens have been mounted in China. The sugar factory of Bertoua is lost in the maze of the administration. Radio silence on the Ntem hydroelectric project. In short, no plant has come out of the earth and those that are built are limited to investments of maintenance when they do not threaten to fold luggage, “says the newspaper.
On May 17, 2017, the closing ceremony of the International Forum of the Digital Economy took place. Organized by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL), the forum, which began on 15 May, was devoted to “How to succeed in Digital Economy in Cameroon“. It was in order to present the country’s strengths, in order to mobilize international funding for innovative projects in the digital economy in Cameroon. The newspaper maintains that the organizers have not ceased to specify that this forum was placed under the high patronage of Paul Biya, the President of the Republic, and that it falls within the framework of the International Conference of Yaounde: Invest in Cameroon.