(Business in Cameroon) - USD 252 million, about FCfa 150 billion. This is the value of the fortune controlled by Kate Kanyi-Tomedi Fotso, MD of Telcar Cocoa LTD, a company leader in cocoa exports in Cameroon (with more than 30% of exported volumes) and trader for the American firm Cargill.
This revelation made by the Africa edition of Forbes magazine, ranks this Cameroonian businesswoman among the 30 largest fortunes in francophone sub-Saharan Africa. The one often referred to by the Minister of Commerce, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, as “the iron lady” in the cocoa sector of Cameroon is first and foremost, the richest woman in her country, we learned.
A well-known figure in the local cocoa sector, where she has been operating for about twenty years alongside the men, without showing any complex, the MD of Telcar Cocoa has also turned for some years now into the main sponsor for certified cocoa in the country.
Over the last three cocoa seasons, for example, the company led by Mrs Fotso distributed FCfa 1.5 billion in premiums to certified cocoa producers. The cocoa sector also owes its Coop Academy launched in March 2016, to the Telcar Cocoa boss, ranked 18th out of the 100 first Cameroonian companies in terms of turnover.
Coop Academy, which helped secure the first IFC investments in the Cameroonian cocoa industry, is planning to train, over a 3-year period, 908 delegates from 227 cocoa producer cooperatives; to transform their organisations into viable, sustainable and profitable companies.
But before the Coop Academy, Kate Fotso, who implements the “Cargill Cocoa Promise” in Cameroon, has already helped train, between 2011 and 2015, about 21,000 cocoa producers in good practices in the Littoral, South-West, Central and Southern regions of Cameroon. Among these producers, 8,000 received certifications.
Kate Fotso’s work in the cocoa sector pushed her into the limelight during the 2015 edition of the International Festival of Cameroonian Cocoa (Festicacao), organised that year under the theme: “women in Cocoa”. Her advice and the management rigour attributed to women have and will certainly continue to contribute to the image of TAF Investment Group, the holding founded by her husband the late André Fotso, himself an industry leader, who was at the head of the Cameroonian Employers’ Association between 2012 and 2 August 2016, date of his passing in Paris.
Brice R. Mbodiam