|Read from the CEO|
Cameroonians in the diaspora have been very instrumental in the development of the country especially through remittances. Money remitted is mostly used in the following ways:
• Upkeep (food, clothing, transport etc) of families
• Medical treatment of parents and other family members
• Education of siblings
• Construction ...of houses, etc.
From the above it is clear that remittance from the Cameroonian diaspora have helped millions of Cameroonians in their day to day needs, a proper harnessing of this resource could see the country on its next development stage – sustained economic growth.
There are numerous articles and news reports on Africa’s economic growth in recent years. Statements like “This is Africa’s time”, “Africa, the next big thing” are very common in news publications nowadays.
The statements are true for our fatherland, Cameroon - which is plagued with various high return investment opportunities that could be tapped by the Cameroonian diaspora.
The following sectors still present lucrative investment opportunities:
• The agricultural sector is still very lucrative; forget about the popular cash crops (coffee, cocoa, cotton, palms etc) for now. Think basic consumables like plantains, tomatoes, animal farming (chicken, fish, pigs etc) which are in huge demand especially as Cameroon is strategically located – neighbour to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea where there is demand.
• Tourism and entertainment sector is a gold mine in Cameroon. Remember that Cameroon is termed “Africa in miniature”.
• Services industry still has a huge part to play in Cameroon’s economic development, especially the development of a formal and vibrant private sector.
• Education – relevant and quality education (especially higher education) is still lacking in Cameroon.
• The IT sector is another gold mine – with the technological wind of change blowing over the world, there will always be opportunities within the IT sector.
• Manufacturing – there are opportunities in small scale manufacturing that do not necessary need the multinational type of capital.
• Health / Medical sector – this is a massive sector in Cameroon, there is a huge need for medical equipment, new technology and better health services.
Why Cameroonian in Diaspora?
The Cameroonian diaspora possess the necessary financial power and skills to invest in Cameroon and take the country to the next level – sustained economic growth. Haven lived out of Cameroon for a couple of years, I fully understand the desire to return home and make a difference – now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities that are available in Cameroon. Not only is it patriotic to invest back home, it is profitable – it’s like shooting two birds with one stone.
There are challenges though
Do not get carried away yet – remember the saying that “nothing good comes easy”. I am sure a few Cameroonian diaspora have attempted to invest in Cameroon without success. I am also aware of the following:
• The bureaucracy and corruption in Cameroon
• Difficult business climate in Cameroon
• Using unreliable persons/institutions/
• ………….etc etc.
But there is hope
There are a couple of young Cameroonians that are making a contribution in tackling the challenges. 25-45 Business Consulting SA (2545bc.com) was created to bridge the gap between investors (both in and out of Cameroon) and the available investment opportunities in Cameroon. After all, investments that result in economic growth are those that are based on well researched opportunities.
By Collins Mazu (CEO 25-45 Business Consulting 2545bc.com )