Capacity Building Workshop Supported Women-owned MSMEs in Cameroon to Increase Digital Trade and e-Commerce/Online Sales

DOUALA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-idb.org), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Cameroon and the Commonwealth Secretariat, organized a digital boot camp to build the capacity of women-owned MSMEs in the areas of digital trade and e-commerce/online sales.

Capacity-building workshops form an integral element of the partnership between ITFC and the Commonwealth Secretariat.  The workshop focused on building the innovative skills of women-owned MSMEs operating in the sectors of agribusiness including agro-processing, wholesale and retail trade, education, health and social services, arts and crafts, events management, food, and beverage, hospitality, and tourism.

Similar to other African nations, Cameroon’s MSMEs contribute significantly to job creation and poverty reduction.  This contribution will be even greater when MSMEs’ capacity to develop innovative products capitalise on domestic and international market opportunities and participate in global supply chains via e-commerce. In addition, enhanced MSMEs’ capacities will enable them to compete at the continental level under the AfCFTA as well.

Mr. Amadou Cire Sall, ITFC Regional Coordinator, Trade and Business Department, commented on the significance of the workshop, stating: “It is exciting to see that ITFC’s partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat is a partnership of action.  The overarching goal of the project is mainly to increase the participation of Cameroonian women entrepreneurs in the global e-commerce trade. The digital boot camp is aligned with meeting this goal as the workshop is designed to build the capacity of women-owned MSMEs in the areas of digital trade and e-commerce.”

Mrs. Ndah Mirabel, Director of Internal Trade, speaking on behalf of Mr. Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, Minister of Trade of the Republic of Cameroon, noted that E-commerce activity in Cameroon has grown steadily as a result of significant improvements in services and the telecommunications industry: “It should be noted that the last decade has seen a remarkable evolution in the development of e-commerce in our country with the penetration of the internet increasing from 18% in 2016 to 34% in 2021, a growth that is having a clear positive impact on economic development prospects.  The e-commerce and digital marketing workshop allow women-owned MSMEs to increase their profit margins through the introduction of an online sales method.”

About the International Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC):
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. It was established with the primary objective of advancing trade among OIC member countries, which would ultimately contribute to the overarching goal of improving the socio-economic conditions of the people across the world. Commencing operations in January 2008, ITFC has provided US$61.41 billion of financing to OIC member countries, making it the leading provider of trade solutions for these member countries’ needs. With a mission to become a catalyst for trade development for OIC member countries and beyond, the Corporation helps entities in member countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with the necessary trade-related capacity-building tools, which would enable them to successfully compete in the global market.

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