The United Nations Development Program alongside its partners have empowered stake holders in the small and medium-sized enterprises on financial inclusion for development minerals.
Over forty five participants drawn from some institutions in Cameroon’s financial sector including commercial banks, development banks, micro-finance institutions and cooperative credit unions attended a three-day workshop in Yaounde on Inlusive Finance for Development Minerals.
Organised by the UNDP, the African Guarantee Fund, the European Union, The African Carribean and Pacific Group of States in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, the workshop was aimed at facilitating access to fundings in Cameroon to keep the sector viable and sustainable.
Opening the workshop in Yaounde on March 19, Francis Andrianarison, speaking on behalf of the Resident Representative of the UNDP, described Development Minerals as « materials that are mined, processed, manufactured and used domestically in industries such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure ».
They include minerals such as gravel, sand, clay, salt, limestone and potash, he added.
Financial inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises in the Development Minerals is crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as well as Cameroon’s Growth and Employment strategy, according to the UNDP.
« The sector could contribute greatly toward 3 out of the 4 government priorities and development objectives contained in Cameroon’s Vision 2035, » Mr. Andrianarison added.
On his part, the national coordinator of the ACP-EU programmme said the worshop was aimed at schooling stakeholders on the importance of finacing the sector. He also called on actors to organise themselves so as to better get access to loans and financial advantages.
« I hope this workshop will pave the way so we can achieve a better financial sustainability and I also hope the various stakeholders will assist in reorganising the sector,» Jude Tutuwan, a participant from the South West region of Cameroon said.
According to global statistics, sand and gravel production worldwide is expected to increase in the next five years which mirrors the growth of the industry.