Cameroonian SMEs mostly operate in the informal sector and suffer from a lack of relations with public authorities. Since 2016, Cameroon benefits from the support of the European Union to strengthen the capacities of its economic operators and to promote an institutional environment that is more conducive to business.
The project MyBusiness.cm has helped formalise more than 25,000 companies in the North, Central and Littoral regions by simplifying and automating business creation. It has also made it possible to standardize the operations of Centers for Business Creation Formalities (CFCE) in order to process registrations under 72 hours.
The platform offers a real-time dashboard of business creation in the 3 main cities: Douala, Yaoundé and Garoua, allowing public authorities to keep reliable and accurate figures on company creation across the country and adjust public policies. The project started in 2016 under the Programme d'Appui à l'Amélioration de la Compétitivité Camerounaise (PACOM) and is implemented by the UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Building on positive results already achieved, it was recently extended to 4 other CFCEs in Maroua, Limbe, Bertoua and Ngaoundere under the Dispositif d’Appui à la Compétitivité Camerounaise (DACC). This extension will be an opportunity to improve the platform by integrating more services set aside during the pilot phase of the business creation electronic platform.
Aboubakar Ousmane is a 28 years old Cameroonian, he is an accountant in a Cabinet. He explains how the digitisation of the public service is important with 3 main reasons: it saves time, allows follow-up of files without hassle and there is a better traceability.
“The MyBusiness platform allowed me to save time and money,” he says. “I can submit my file through my office and follow it without travelling and the feedback allows me to know precisely when to go to the CFCE to withdraw my file.”
“It is essential for me as I assist companies during their creation phase and I can create 20 to 30 companies per year. This makes the platform a real working tool for me.
I think that we must encourage the use of this platform both for professionals (Cabinet and other structures) but also for the average Cameroonian who will find enormous advantages."
Katie Taga is promoter and manager of Global Business Kat SARL, a company with activities in Buildings and Public Works (BTP), General Trade and Import-Export. When he put together his creative dossier, he learned that there was an online creation platform, which he wanted to try out. So he went to the creation site and followed the process step by step.
Katie explains: “By inserting the articles of association, the Trade Register, the location map; which generated a receipt for filing the file - 72 hours later, I returned to the CFCE to collect my creation documents.”
“Note that in the meantime I was contacted by the CNPS for additional information on the structure, even though I had not submitted a CNPS file.I found the site to be a very good initiative as business managers don't always have enough time. By using the MyBusiness platform, they save time and money.
This is an initiative to be congratulated and encouraged!”