The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, Achille BASSILEKIN III, presided over the official opening ceremony of the 7th edition of the Cameroon International Handicrafts Fair (SIARC) on December 16th 2021 at the esplanade of the National Museum of Yaoundé.
He was accompanied by his Senegalese counterpart, Dr. Papa Amadou NDIAYE, Minister of Handicraft and the Transformation of the Informal Sector whose country is the guest of honor of this year’s edition. The ceremony also witnessed the presence of members of the diplomatic corps, top ranking government officials, other dignitaries of MINPMEESA, craftspeople and crafts lovers, entrepreneurs, business men and women from across the country and beyond.
Speaking during the opening ceremony on behalf of the Prime Minister Head of Government, Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III mentioned that this fair is a reflection of Cameroon’s diversity in the field of craftsmanship as well as that of other visiting African countries. Making reference to the theme of this edition, “Revitalization of the Marketing System of Handicraft Products and Conquest of Foreign Markets”, he went further to recall the triple dimension of SIARC: “commercial, educational (space for reflection and discussions) and festive” as well as the specificity of this year’s edition amongst which is the sensitization of craft persons and organizations on the formalities of moving from the informal to the formal sector.
While extending his profound gratitude to Minister Achille BASSILEKIN III for the invite, his Senegalese counterpart, reiterated the fact that though coronavirus pandemic has created major obstacles to the growth of the craft sector, digital advancements have revolutionized craftsmanship. As such, craft persons should make use of this and other opportunities. He also did not failed to mention how beneficial this fair is to the Senegalese delegation. As such he stated that “this fair is an opportunity for us to know more about Cameroon’s craftsmanship as well as learn more from our Cameroonian counterparts”.
It should be noted that both personalities called on all and sundry to enjoy this 10-days exhibition to the fullest, by visiting the hundreds of stands whose doors are opened everyday as from 8 a.m. Music lovers were equally invited to come every evening and savour a wide range of artistic displays lined up just for their entertainment till 10 p.m. Worthy to mention that 17th December 2021 will be entirely devoted to Senegal (Guest of Honour Day), whose creativity in the craft sector is a benchmark in Africa.
Beyond the exhibitions and sales, visitors will be able to attend discussions and other thematic presentations related to the 15 different sectors of craftsmanship earmarked for the 20th through the 22nd of December 2021, all at the National Museum in Yaoundé. At the end of SIARC, many prizes and various trophies will be awarded to deserving craftsmen with the designation of Miss SIARC 2021.