As a matter of fact, the Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, in partnership with the Standards and Quality Agency (ANOR) on Tuesday 26 March 2019 in the Yaoundé International Handicraft Centre, organised a validation workshop of the List of Specifications for the standardisation of some handicraft products.
The general objective of this meeting was to propose a concerted MINPMEESA, ANOR, Chamber of Commerce (CCIMA) and craftspeople associations, document with the view to facilitating the standardisation of reference handicraft products in the light of improving on the productivity and competitiveness of handicraft SMEs.
In the presence of the General Manager of ANOR and several administrative officials, Mr. Achille BASSILEKIN III, Minister of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, pointed out the necessity of this workshop. He revealed that Cameroon’s handicraft occupies pride of place in national development. It is time more than ever before for it, to be rendered competitive in order to generate more revenue not only for the country in general, but for the livelihood of craftspeople in particular.
In spite of MINPMEESA’s role in the support, the follow up and training of craftspeople, poor quality standards oblige them to face the challenges of marketing for want of compliance with international standards. It was therefore necessary to carry out a reflection that would streamline these standardisation exigencies such that they should comply with those on the world market.
Worthy of note is the fact that products to be standardised are those of the wood,
textile and agri-food sectors and must comply with specific selection criteria which are: availability, accessibility and possibility of reinforcing the value chain. Through
handicrafts, culture and product originality of “Made in Cameroon” goods are
valorised and highlighted.
The estimated budget for the funding of the standardisation of the selected handicraft products is 56.550.375 (fifty-six million five hundred and fifty-five thousand three hundred and seventy-five CFAF).
At the close of this workshop involving all the stakeholders, recommendations aimed at improving and fast-tracking the process were formulated. This process, still in its
infant stage, will be carried out gradually and shall be applied to other handicraft products.
It is important to note that MINPMEESA and ANOR signed on the 01 December
2016, a Framework Agreement for the implementation of projects aimed at
developing standards, evaluating conformity and carrying out scientific metrology.