(Business in Cameroon) - Pierre Zumbach, the high counselor attached to the presidency of the Inter-Progress Foundation, the organizing body behind the Yaoundé International Business, SME, and Partnership Fair (Promote), met with Célestin Guela Simo, the CEO of Afriland First Bank, on November 28 in Yaoundé. They officially renewed the existing partnership agreement, solidifying Afriland First Bank's role as the "major partner" for the upcoming 9th Promote scheduled from February 17 to 25, 2024.
As part of this collaboration, Afriland First Bank will once again "sponsor" the participation of 20 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in this prestigious business fair, continuing its support from the previous edition in 2022. The bank's support will enable the beneficiaries to secure exhibition booths that may have been financially out of reach otherwise. The partners did not disclose the amount to be allocated to beneficiaries.
"Promote represents a tremendous opportunity for us to support our economic players, particularly SMEs, whose prevalence in our economic fabric is an asset in the competitiveness dynamic. Quantitatively, it's the most significant segment: 90% of registered businesses are SMEs. However, qualitatively, it's the least resilient segment: 90% of SMEs disappear two years after creation," Célestin Guela Simo said.
Afriland First Bank believes that this support will not only enhance the visibility of these businesses but also facilitate valuable business relationships crucial for their development. "During Promote 2022, Afriland First Bank was proclaimed a major partner of Promote and contributed to the success of the event through a series of support initiatives," Pierre Zumbach explained.
The collaboration extends beyond Promote, as both parties envision a series of joint initiatives and activities that will benefit their institutions and the entire regional economic fabric. The partnership renewal underscores the commitment of Afriland First Bank and Promote to fostering economic growth and collaboration in the region.
As a reminder, Promote was founded in 2002 by President Paul Biya, who entrusted the Inter-Progress Foundation, an event management expert, with the organization of the promotional event held every two years. Promote has evolved into the largest economic gathering in Cameroon and Central Africa, attracting over 1,000 exhibitors from 30 countries across various sectors, including agriculture, energy, industry, construction, mining, infrastructure, ICT, health, banking and finance, insurance, tourism, craftsmanship, and communication. The upcoming edition is themed: "Private Sector, Evolution, and Structural Transformation of African Economies."