Import-substitution: the Growth Sectors Network Centre in search of financing

Import-substitution: the Growth Sectors Network Centre in search of financing

Under the aegis of the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, the Growth Sectors Network Centre Project (CRFC) in Cameroon is organising an advocacy workshop on 22 and 23 June 2023 in Yaounde. The opening ceremony on 22 June was chaired by the Minister Delegate at the MINEPAT, Paul Tasong, in the presence of other members of government and the National Coordinator of the CRFC.

The first day of deliberation, under the theme: “The Growth Sectors Network Centre, an operational tool for implementing the import substitution policy, development and self-financing of growth sectors”, was an opportunity to raise awareness among the various stakeholders on the stakes and challenges related to the financing of growth sectors, in a context of scarce resources.
In the light of the various possibilities available in the sectors, the main aim of the meetings is to reflect on the specific mechanisms of their self-financing, with a view to ensuring an efficient, effective and sustainable implementation of the CRFC project. During the meeting, participants from the ten regions of Cameroon and around the world took stock of the situation in each of the eleven sectors selected for the CRFC, namely: aquaculture, timber, cattle-dairy, cocoa, coffee, cotton-textile-garment, cassava, oil palm, onion, tomato and organic fertilizer production, to propose self-financing mechanisms for the emergence of genuine champion companies.

As part of the NDS30 implementation, the government of Cameroon gives pride of place to the import-substitution policy, whose corollary is the optimisation of the promotion of “made in Cameroon”. The aim is to rebalance Cameroon’s trade balance, which is in deficit due to its growing dependence on imports of consumer goods and exports of primary products. To reverse this trend, several initiatives have been taken by the Government, including the CRFC, which was launched in 2022, following a partnership agreement signed between MINEPAT and the Support Centre for Rural Development Actions (CAARD). The CRFC is thus a watch instrument, at the service of the government to set up and organise markets, organise stakeholders in the value chain production systems and the clusters of production, processing and marketing companies; all geared oriented towards import-substitution and food safety. The Centre plans to set-up 14 high-capacity industrial companies at the local level for our raw materials processing oriented in import-substitution, 11 technical centres for quality control and the elaboration of standards according to international ones, with one technical centre per sector, and the installation of 18,500 youths in production areas, 30% of whom are women. It will also create about 374,691 direct jobs and at least 100,000 indirect jobs, and reduce the import bill by 50% for products and by-products derived from the selected sectors.

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