As part of its “Doing Business with Cameroon” webinars, the Moroccan Association of Exporters (ASMEX) organized a meeting, in partnership with the Harvard Consulting firm, moderated by Hervé Monbia, specialist in advice and support on Central and West African markets. A meeting which allowed to unveil opportunities and statistics testifying to a favorable business climate in this country.
During his speech, Hervé Monbia thus highlighted the competitive advantages of a Cameroonian market of 26.55 million inhabitants, in full revival since the covid-19 health crisis. “ Cameroon’s geographical position and its market make this Central African country the hub of the region. The Cameroonian market presents countless opportunities in sectors of interest to Moroccan companies such as Agriculture, industry and telecommunications. », He mentioned.
The webinar ” Doing Business with Cameroon »Highlighted that the Cameroonian economy, which has taken the shock of the health crisis, nevertheless remains very promising with a GDP growth rate of 3.7% recorded in 2019, to reach today the 3,400 dollars per capita .
The fact remains that its market needs new investments which will offer new possibilities to a young population (0-14 year olds constitute 43% and 15-35 year olds represent 36% of the population). The unemployment rate of 15-34 year olds is relatively high (40%), in a country where the informal sector alone employs 90% of the working population and contributes more than 50% to the country’s GDP, explains ASMEX in a press release following this webinar.
According to World Bank data put forward by the Association, Cameroon, whose economy is based on oil, cocoa, wood and aluminum, recorded in 2020 a GDP of $ 39.58 billion, i.e. increase of 0.73% despite the health crisis which severely impacted the entire region.
In Cameroon, the sectors of agriculture and services are at the center of all interests since they employ a little more than 85% of the working population (43.5% in agriculture and 42.1% in services ) against 14.4% in industry. These two sectors present significant development opportunities that can be attractive to Moroccan exporters and investors wishing to open up to CEMAC (The Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa), underlines the association, recalling that CEMAC is made up of six member states: Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Congo (Brazzaville).
While drawing up a detailed inventory of the needs identified for the Cameroonian market, Hervé Monbia focuses on fishing, in addition to agriculture and services that seek to rely on investments and foreign expertise to accelerate their growth. .
Thus, the expert explains that fishing remains an activity practiced in an artisanal way by Cameroonians and dominated by foreign investors for the industrial part (Ghanaians, Beninese, Nigerians but also Malians). In 2020, industrial fishing increased from 8,648 tonnes to 11,479 tonnes, an increase of 8%.
In terms of agro-food, Cameroon imports practically all consumer products with the exception of a few frozen foods such as chicken. A real potential for Moroccan manufacturers who can offer a long list of products made in Morocco, believes the association.
The telecommunications sector is also a sector of the future which presents very interesting investment opportunities for Moroccans, underlines the same source. In recent years, this sector has been showing steadily increasing indicators, thus supporting the development of other sectors. Network coverage today covers more than 80% of the country’s areas. Hervé Monbia affirmed that the number of telephone and internet subscriptions is increasing, thus facilitating access to the web via the four telephone operators established in the country.
In this sense, ASMEX invites Moroccan investors and exporters to explore the various opportunities offered by the Cameroonian market, in particular those active in the sectors of agro-food, construction, ICT, and services such as transport. In this sense, the relations between the two countries have been tied up since 1965 when the Moroccan and Cameroonian governments signed various cooperation agreements in several fields such as geology, mines and energies, the field of habitat and town planning or cooperation agreements in vocational training and higher education.