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Yaoundé - 22 October 2020 -
Trombinoscope

Marie MBALLA BILOA, The Bayam-Selam Queen

Marie MBALLA BILOA, The Bayam-Selam Queen

(Business in Cameroon) - Marie Mballa Biloa heads the Bayam-Selam Association of Cameroon (ASBY). In Cameroon, “Bayam-Selam” is the common appellation for women selling food products at the market. These women buy goods from farmers in rural areas, to resell in big towns. To fend for their families, whom they often return to very late in the day, they must wake up very early and travel through long, unsafe roads connecting the towns where they work to villages where they get their supplies from.

By definition, a “Bayam Selam” is an enterprise: She takes care of her accounting herself, handles supplies, travels when needed, and markets her goods also on her own, with peculiar methods.

While they used to be ignored in the local economic fabric, they are now acknowledged by public authorities and are gaining more presence as the State’s partners in regards to market supply.