The Cameroon government is making available two billion FCFA (about four million dollars) to support small and medium-size enterprises hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Making the announcement on Monday, October 5, 2020, the Minister of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Social Economy, Arts and Crafts, Achille Bassilekin III, said the money was the ministry’s part of the money made available by the Prime Minister from the 180 billion FCFA (about 360 million dollars) National Solidarity Fund for the Fight Against the Coronavirus.
The fund, established on March 31, 2020, by President Paul Biya with a take-off amount of one billion FCFA (about two million dollars) was boosted by allocations from the June 3, 2020, reviewed 2020 national budget.
This financial support is couched on “equitable and rigorous eligibility conditions” as contained in the accompanying guide issued by the Minister of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Social Economy, Arts and Crafts.
In effect, within the context of the Programme of Economic and Financial Resilience, other local small and medium-size enterprises would receive support from other ministerial departments which also benefitted from the National Solidarity Fund for the Fight Against the Coronavirus.
The other ministries involved include the Ministry of the Economy, Plan and Regional Development, which received 10 billion FCFA (about 20 million dollars) and the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development with an envelope of one billion FCFA (about two million dollars) intended to reinforce the production capacity of local pharmaceutical industries.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also received six billion FCFA (about 12 million dollars) to support small agricultural enterprises and small producers of rice, maize, millet as well as producers of organic manure and seeds.
The Ministry of Animal Breeding, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry received two billion FCFA (about four million dollars) in support of fish, chicks, small ruminants, eggs and piglets production, while Ministry of Women and the Family got 1.5 billion FCFA (about three million dollars) for the production of masks in the 360 national councils.
The Ministry of Tourism and Leisure which received 190 million FCFA (about 380,000 dollars) intended to be put at the disposal of small and medium-sized enterprises in the restaurant sector.
In addition to the financial support, there is also 10 billion FCFA (about 20 million: dollars) at the disposal of government by the Cameroonian affiliate of the Gabonese BGFI Bank on September 1, 2020, to be disbursed in support of small and medium-size enterprises hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, a total of 32.7 billion FCFA (about 65 million dollars) has been made available to support small and medium-size enterprises suffering from the negative effects of the coronavirus since the outbreak of the pandemic in March.