Page 267 - Atouts Economiques Cameroun-2019-GB
P. 267

Cameroon’s handicraft is part of the small and medium-sized business. A characteristic of the handicraft is that it expresses the cultural wealth of the country and the mark of an exceptional legacy of the past handed down from generation to generation. Cameroon therefore has nearly 3500 artisans in the 10 regions across the land opera- ting within around 40 organizations and almost 300 groups and associations. The umbrella orga- nization in the sector is the National Corps of Cameroon Artisans. Craftsmanship in Cameroon is divided into 3 sectors, including: craftwork, pro- duction craft and service craft, which lead to seve- ral types of activities like:
n Wood carving;
n Sculpture of bronze; n Ceramics work;
n Leather work...
Handicrafts, given the potential offered, is often and justifiably considered as the “leading busi- ness of Cameroon”. It is therefore a key element in the fight against unemployment and poverty. In addition, handicrafts occupy a large part of the female population; especially in rural areas.
There is no need to dwell on the creative genius of Cameroonian craftsmen. It is the centerpiece in shopping malls, some places in major cities of the country and even in some more or less remote areas of the world. The craft districts of Foumban, Maroua, Bamenda, Mbalmayo and goods from other regions are self-highlightening illustrations. But, beyond the images, generous beauty and engineering, market realities across Africa and the World have somewhat adverse effects on this face beauty.
In order to enable Cameroonian crafts to be more competitive on the African market and to gain share in the world market, the government has undertaken a series of actions, the main ones being:
• Strengthening the institutional and regulatory system promotion of crafts and the operationali- zation of the National Council of Crafts;
• Capacity-building in the field of crafts and capacity building in the networks of social eco- nomy organizations set up, in collaboration with professional organizations of craftsmen and part- ners, to improve quality of their products which must comply to international norms and standards;
• Support for the migration of informal produc- tion units (IPUs) to crafts and micro-businesses, particularly with the creation of municipal

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