(Business in Cameroon) - The volumes of charcoal sold on Cameroonian markets every year have a global value of FCfa 17 billion, the experts of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife revealed during a recent workshop on opportunities available in this sector. The meeting was organised by in the town of Bertoua, the Eastern Cameroon capital, a region where the most important wooded area in the country.
According to the same sources, the wood charcoal sector in Cameroon even harbours an important network of exporters, whose annual turnover is estimated at approximately FCfa 12 billion, thus over 70% of the global turnover.
Figures which, as highlighted by Mahamat Habibou, Director of Promotion and Processing of Forestry Products at the Ministry of Forestry, lead this ministry to consider a real takeover of this still budding sector. This, we learned, to implement a set of measures meant to bring to FCfa 20 billion the value of charcoal exported by Cameroonian producers.
But beyond the financial benefits it brings, as claimed by different NGOs, the production of wood charcoal and firewood in Cameroon is a real threat for the protection of the environment.
The scale of these activities in the Eastern and Extreme-North regions in the country led the government, through CSPH, to build two domestic gas bottling centres in Maroua and Bertoua. These structures, according to CSPH, are mainly meant to protect the environment, by deterring households from using charcoal and firewood.