The training of engineers to handled different aspects of the production chain is indispensible for industrial development. This was the key message, Cameroonians industrialist, Audrey Shiku delivered during the first Cameroon Industrial forum in Yaoundé. She noted that the availability of expertise in the local labour market favours industrialisation.
In addition to local expertise, the industrialist recommended that government should facilitate the installation of foreign companies that are will to invest and transfer technology. To her, Cameroon’s multilateral and bilateral industrial partners should transfer technology to their Cameroonian counterpart and not focus solely on trade.
The industrialist was upbeat about the capacity of Cameroonians to move industrialisation forward on the condition that government supports local initiatives. She said instead of buying 800 irrigation machines during the launch of the farming season, government should buy two and hand over to Cameroonian industrialist who will study the technology and produce more than 800 at lower cost using local materials.
She said industrialisation in Cameroon can be financed locally through small scale investments, banking and insurance by insurance companies. In this light, she invited Cameroonians to convert their savings in commercial banks to shares in local companies. Audrey Shiku noted that financing from within is one of the drivers to local industrial growth as has been proven from the experience of other countries.
Audrey Shiku was strongly against the massive importation of finished goods and the exportation of raw materials. She thinks that if government restricts importation to essential products, the local demand will drive Cameroon’s industrialisation forward.