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SABC Offers FCFA 1 Billion For NW, SW Reconstruction Plan

SABC GM and UNDP Coordinator shake hands after signing agreement

SABC GM and UNDP Coordinator shake hands after signing agreement

 By Yerima Kini Nsom

Cameroon’s leading brewery company, Societe Anonyme des Brasseries du Cameroun, SABC, has supported the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction and Development of Northwest and Southwest regions, PPRD-NW/SW, with FCFA 1 billion. In the same vein, a mining company, Groupement des industries Meuniere du Cameroun, GIMC, also contributed FCFA 200 million for the same purpose.

These offers were the substance of a financial agreement both companies signed with the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Yaounde on Friday, November 26. PM, Chief Dr. Dion Ngute, chaired the ceremony that was attended by many other stakeholders. The financial contributions by the two companies is a response to an appeal the Prime Minister made to the private sector during his visit to Douala last May 18.

Speaking during the ceremony, the UNDP Coordinator for Cameroon, Jean Luc Stalon, expressed gratitude to the two enterprises for contributing to the reconstruction and development of the two crisis-hit regions. He said the contributions are part of a socio-economic response that would be part of a global solution to the crisis.

He urged other private sector enterprises that are still hesitating, to accompany the reconstruction train with contributions.  He said the recovery plan was on the right path and would contribute to bringing peace, security and sustainable development in the two regions.

While thanking the two enterprises for their contributions, the National Coordinator for the Presidential Plan for the Reconstruction of the Northwest and Southwest Regions, Minister Paul Tasong, said the offer demonstrated the private sector’s solidarity with the populations of the two regions. Tasong lauded the two enterprises for making such an offer at the time that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed several challenges on the economy.

Celestin Tawamba and UNDP sign agreement

Remarking that the crisis has negatively affected enterprises, he said the government will pay attention to the proposals that the private sector has made within the working group. He said the government will do everything possible to allow enterprises to carry out their activities in economically-stricken areas for the development of Cameroon and the wellbeing of the population.

Meanwhile, SABC General Manager, Emmanuel De Tailly, said their contribution was actuated by their commitment to advancing efforts aimed at seeking a return to peace in the two regions. He said no country can develop without peace and security. Going by him, Cameroon was losing six points of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, to the crisis in the two regions. He said efforts for a return to peace in the two regions are necessary because Cameroon cannot emerge without the Northwest and Southwest regions. To him, it was time for the various stakeholders to move out of the war economy and embrace a peace economy.

Speaking as Chairman of the GIMC Group, Celestin Tawamba said, by offering FCFA 200 million, his company has kept the promise they made to the Prime Minister during his visit to Douala. According to a press release from the steering committee of the PPRD, issued on the eve of last Friday’s ceremony, the money donated will be used to rehabilitate schools and health centres, thereby improving access to social services destroyed in the two regions.

The resources, it states, will be used to re-launch agricultural production in rural areas, as well as give a lease on life to small and medium-sized enterprises that have been affected by the crisis.  It holds that the contributions of the enterprises translate the confidence the private sector has for the strategy government and its development partners were implementing. Such a move, it emphasises, demonstrates the will of the enterprises to push forward Cameroon’s development in public-private sector partnership.

Following discussions with the business community in Douala, the PM created a tripartite government-private-UNDP working group to address all aspects relating to the participation of the private sector in the reconstruction strategy of the Northwest, Southwest and the Far North Regions.

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