9 Reasons to Start a Business in Cameroon this 2021

The business environment in Cameroon is improving daily and is open for investors to take part in the identification of the many growth opportunities. If you’ve standing on the fence, it’s time for you to stop being a spectator and jump into the field of play. If you’re still in doubt, then after reading this to the end, you’ll see why you have to start a business in Cameroon this 2021 will help you.

1. The largest economy in Central Africa

Cameroon has the largest economy in the Central African Region with a population of over 25,000,000 according to 2018 statistics.

The Central African Region is made up of the Central African Republic, Congo, Chad, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe and Cameroon. 2017 statistics show Cameroon contributed 29 percent of the regions GDP followed by Democratic Republic of Congo with 24 percent [AFDB].

It’s border by Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria.

2. Long border with Nigeria

One thing to take note of is that Cameroon has a border with all members of CEMAC (Central African Economic and Monetary Community). The country also has a wide boundary with Nigeria (1,975 km), the second largest economy of Africa after South Africa [Statista]. Nigeria, with a population of above 155 million and other neighboring countries serve as great market potential for products from Cameroon.

3. Sustainable business environment

As a developing economy, the market provides a sustainable environment for you to start a business in Cameroon. The growth performance of the country has been strengthened in recent years with many incentives put in place by the government to encourage investment.

The country is expected to be in the rank of upper-middle-income by 2035. This can happen only if it increases its productivity and take advantage of the potentials of its private sector – something they’re already doing.

According to World Bank reports on Cameroon, the growth is expected to be 4.3% this year. This is expected to go up by about 8% between 2015 and 2035 with GDP increases of up to 30% within this same period.

This makes it favorable for businesses to maintain and enjoy growth and stability – reason you need t start a business in Cameroon now.

4. Increasing market demand

With a population of above 25 million, it may look like the consumer market is small. That may not be the case as Cameroon is considered a breadbasket in the CEMAC Region.

Cameroon has a large youth population with 62.38% of them aged under 25. In spite of the socio-economic and political challenges faced in the country, there has been a rising consumer expenditure. The per capita GDP in 2020 as estimated by IMF was $1,490.

Read: What stops you from starting a business in Cameroon?

The urban middle class areas have seen an increase in the number of young professionals. This means there are more people with increased purchasing power. This will be a big push for economic development as there will be changes in in consumption patterns that will increase demand.

Nigeria, with a population of above 155 million serves as great market potential for products from Cameroon. As said above, Cameroon and Nigeria share a 1,975 km borderline.

5. Ease of doing business

2020 information of Ease in Doing Business shows Cameroon ranks 167 out of 190 economies with a Doing Business Score of 46.1/100. The reasons for this performance is because the government has put a series of measures to improve the business environment in order to make it more attractive to investors.

Government policies lately have shifted a great deal towards helping the entrepreneurs in easing the creation of businesses.

The country has put in place business-friendly laws that reduces the procedures involved to start a business as well as investment-friendly fiscal incentives.

The number of days to register a business has gone as low as 13.5 days according to Doing Business, even though we at OpenHub Digital can do that within 7 working days and maximum 48 hours to obtain a business license.

6. Labor force

The most recent value of Cameroon’s labor force is put at 11,484,246 as at 2020 made up of people of age 15 and above who can supply labor for a specified period in the production of goods and services [World Bank Data]. Figures include both employed and unemployed persons who are first-time job-seekers as well as those seeking for work. They are made up of skilled, unskilled and under-skilled labor.

The government, through its Strategy for Growth & Employment vision, has been putting in place strategies to develop both formal and informal employment opportunities. The main aim of this is to strengthen human development. Hence, investors will not find it difficult to get the necessary labor they need for their investments – both skilled and unskilled.

The skills development is sector-specific, hence, pays more attention to employment-intensive sectors in order to help address the needs of growth-intensive investments.

There is a lot of skilled and unskilled labor waiting to put in their skills into your investment. If human capital should not be a limiting factor for your plans to start a business in Cameroon.

7. Abundant resources

Cameroon is endowed with abundant natural resources that are yet to be fully exploited. Investment opportunities exists in mining, forestry, agriculture, livestock and fisheries, hotel and tourism sectors and many others.

There exist enormous investment opportunities for all who want to start a business in Cameroon.

Read Also: Seize this opportunity and start a business in Cameroon

8. Attractive incentives

The government has put in place fiscal measures to promote growth and investment in Cameroon. A new corporate tax rate of 28% was introduced in the 2021 Finance Law for businesses with a turnover equal to or less than three billion francs.

The digital economy in Cameroon has a great potential to grow and enhance productivity and the social well-being of Cameroonians. To help boost this sector, the government has put in a place tax incentives to promote the sector.

9. Time to start a business in Cameroon

Do you think it’s time for you to start a business in Cameroon? No other person will make this happen unless you take advantage of the enormous opportunities Cameroon has now.

It may never be too late, but then, “the early bird eats the fattest worm”.

Get in touch with us to help you explore the many investment opportunities available in Cameroon.

Image Credit: Jean Noel Antsek Begne, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

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