(Business in Cameroon) – On July 7, 2021, during the 30th and 31st ordinary sessions of the steering committee (COPIL) of the Cameroon Enterprise Upgrade Office (BMN), the participants discussed the survival of this state institution , which could cease operations in January 2022 due to a lack of funding.

Speaking at the end of the July 7 sessions, a member of COPIL explained that the current 3-year financing agreement binding it to the French Development Agency (AFD) under the third debt reduction and development contract would expire in December 2021. But this agreement was not renewed for a second term of 3 years.

however, “The steering committee initiated a broad consultation to help the BMN to finance itself”, added the member.

The BMN was created in 2011 to strengthen the competitiveness of local businesses in a context marked by the proliferation of free zones. To carry out its missions, it implements programs such as the PNMAN lighthouse aimed at upgrading businesses. To date, nearly 800 companies have voluntarily joined the program. But after examining the various upgrading plans submitted by these companies, COPIL retained around 100, which benefited from more than CFAF 1 billion in material investment assistance.

In addition to supporting the competitiveness and financial restructuring of selected companies, the BMN has also established partnerships with several financial institutions to facilitate access to finance for its beneficiaries. Among these partners are the I&P investment fund (Investisseurs & Partenaires), Crédit du Sahel (which is the leader in the microfinance sector in the northern regions), the African Leasing Company (ALC) which was recently absorbed. by its parent company Afriland First Banque, and the African Guarantee and Economic Cooperation Fund (FAGACE).

Internal sources at COPIL say the current financial problems jeopardizing the future of BMN come just months after the institution adopted its 2020-2024 strategy, which is in line with the government’s 2020-2030 national development strategy. (SND20-30) focused on several pillars – one of these is the structural transformation of the national economy through the development of a strong manufacturing industry.

According to the 2020-2024 strategy of the BMN, the institution would need 65 billion FCFA to carry out its missions and upgrade 600 Cameroonian companies.

Brice R. Mbodiam

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