Economy. Foreign craftsmen eye Cameroon market

Some foreign craftsmen taking part in the 6th edition of the Cameroon International Handicraft Exhibition (SIARC) have said they are taking part in the fair is order to study the Cameroon market for eventual exploits. SIARC 2018, holding under the distinguished patronage of President Paul Biya, has attracted tens of exhibitors from 14 foreign countries and over 500 others from across the country.

One of the foreign exhibitors who elected anonymity said she was marveled by the fact that under President Biya, the artisanal sector had been well developed. “Cameroon is far better than my country. If everything works well, I will be permanently moving over in order to enjoy the well-organized sector,” she said, without giving further details.

To David Arthur, an exhibitor from Accra – Ghana it is his first time to be in Cameroon. “As our President said sometimes back, we have to engage to increase our export. So we want to open up the Ghanaian handicraft market to other countries. This is the reasons why we have come here to study the market in Cameroon. We are showcasing what craftsmen are producing in Ghana. We expect to have people to collaborate with and see what the market [Cameroon] demands,” David Arthur disclosed.

Meanwhile, Logossou Eric from Lome – Togo, like other foreign exhibitors simply hold that crafts has gaine dits place in Cameroon.

SIARC, considered as the second best on the continent, opened on April 26 and is scheduled to close on May 5, 2018.

According to Mercy Afa Nanji, Director of Handicrafts in the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, adequate measures had been taken to ensure that SIARC 2017 unfolds hitch-free. Besides exhibition of crafts works, workshops and business-to-business meetings will also feature during SIARC 2018.

Like previous editions, SIARC 2018 seeks to promote and commercialise local artisanal products to the rest of the world as well as project the quality and potential of Cameroonian craftsmen and women, especially in relation to the country’s emergence. The participating craftsmen are exhibiting their works ranging from statues, cloths, bags, furniture, jewelry, medicine to food. This year’s handicraft exhibition is being organised under the theme: “African handicraft and fair trade: Issues and perspectives.”

It should be noted that President Paul Biya holds craft works, especially those that promote culture and tradition, very close to his heart. He has often take actions, including giving incentives, to ensure that the sector grows steadily.

Emmanuel Ngota

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