The first edition of a mini trade fair for youths with focus on Made In Cameroon products has just rounded off in Yaounde.
The fair that took place at the esplanade of the Yaounde City Council from September 3-4 brought together young entrepreneurs selected all over the country to showcase their worth to the public.
About 100 youths who took part in the fair were selected among those who had benefitted support from various entrepreneurial projects initiated by the various stakeholders of the Youth Connekt initiative, notably; the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education, the Ministry of Small and Medium sized enterprises, the United Nations Development Programme, UNESCO, UNFPA, UN Women and the Puene Foundation.
Participants were divided into various sectors; digital and new media, agro industry, cosmetics, arts and crafts.
Presenting the fair, the head of the organizing committee, Jean Vincent Gweth said the participants were rigorously selected among 300 applicants online with the main criteria being the originality of their products, the valourisation of local resources, the respect of norms and quality packaging of the product and the existence of the product on the market.
He added that the main objective of the fair is to give exposure to the creativity of these young entrepreneurs, connect them to various opportunities to finance their businesses and promote the Made In Cameroon brand.
Opening the fair last Friday, September 3, the Minister of Minister of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Achille Bassileken III said the project falls in line with government’s drive to promote youth entrepreneurship and create a favourable atmosphere for business to flourish.
He lauded the young entrepreneurs for their ingenuity and hope the project is a big step in encouraging Cameroonians to consume what they produce and produce what they consume.
On his part, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, Dr Jean Luc Stalon said such initiatives such be given a push from all sectors in order to help in the transformation of the economy. To help the youth take their projects further, he proposed measures to enable them certify their products and the reduction of administrative bottlenecks in the creation of startups in order to encourage more youths to innovate.
The fair ended on Saturday, September 4 with a business talk and the award of prizes to the four best exhibitors.