By Tony Kwame Ansah, Jr
Every now and then we come across a person, place or thing that piques our interest. For me, there was a time in 2018 where I was building an online African business community and I noticed Go-Africa Initiative Cameroon (GAICAM) by way of Taminang Search. I reached out to Taminang last year because his social enterprise in Cameroon stood out to me due to their “vision to transform lives and promote economic growth in Cameroon and Africa at large.”
Little did I know that my outreach would lead to an ongoing relationship. I’m grateful to have seen GAICAM and even more grateful to have met Taminang. It should be noted that without social media these acquaintances wouldn’t have been possible.
Fast forward to 2019, Taminang Search just came from coordinating one of the biggest events in Cameroon revolving around sustainable business ventures, which was planned and organized by GAICAM via the Taminang Entrepreneurship Solutions (TENSO); an initiative of GAICAM, and a requisite Business competence training and startup consulting resource, established to serve as a reference platform with special focus on entrepreneurship competences and startup consultancy. On Saturday June 8th, the National Business and Entrepreneurship Summit (NABES) took place in Yaoundé – Cameroon, and at the Chamber of Commerce – Hippodrome.
“A Crusade for Building Sustainable Business Ventures in Cameroon.” brought together business experts, entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, professionals, and other stakeholders from across Cameroon, with participants coming from Buea, Bamenda, Douala, Limbe, Tnchang, Kumba and Yaounde the host town.
The summit had as principal aim to educate and empower aspiring and practicing startup entrepreneurs with practical and sustainable strategies and techniques which they need to launch, bounce back or scale up the growth of their startup business/ideas.
The summit saw the light of great entrepreneurs, business experts, and professionals who all served as speakers. The following 12 speakers came from different spheres of life—Social, Business, Health, Agriculture, and Technology:
Achaleke Christian Leke (National Coordinator for Local Youth Corner Cameroon, United Nations Peace Expert)
Ewehmeh Gilbert (Chief Executive Officer at YES Cameroon, Startup Financing Expert)
Mambe Churchill Nanje (Chief Executive Officer of NJorku Cameroon)
Fotabe Elmine (Founding President of Fotabe University, Social Entrepreneurship Expert)
Javnyuy Joybert (Co-Founder/CEO COSDEF Group, Social Entrepreneur & Corporate trainer/consultant)
George Neba (Director of Small Business & Entrepreneurship Center)
Otto Akama (Managing Director at Makonjo Media)
Foto Rollin (Business Plan Expert)
Budi Norbert Mbua (Chief Executive Officer at Next Digital Ventures)
Tenekeu Durane (Medical Practitioner)
N. Eric Tongwa (Regional Delegate DsMax Center, CEO of Tongz Records)
Taminang Search (Executive Director of GAICAM, Small Business Development Expert)
My fellow entrepreneur, Taminang Search, the Executive Director of GAICAM and main Organizer of NABES 2019, shared the following with the press after the summit.
What was your motivation behind the organization of this maiden edition of NABES?
Thank you for this opportunity to share with your audience the rationale behind why I coordinated my team to organize #NABES2019, which was to promote collaboration amongst other entrepreneurs, as well as engage a discussion on how to fraternize the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Cameroon. I am a strong believer of the fact that we can do more if we learn to collaborate with each other. I believe that entrepreneurs can do more to promote growth if they collaborate with others in the ecosystem, and as such, it was high time for us to start promoting such a powerful discussion in the ecosystem, just like some of my colleagues have also been advocating.
Secondly, I am a great fan of Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 17; Partnering for the Goals. We can’t be at our best if we focus on doing everything alone. It is important that we try to promote a more collaborative and fraternity society that can propel growth and development in our communities. My greatest wish is for entrepreneurs to increase their levels of collaboration, because a lot of energy in the ecosystem is being wasted for nothing, whereas it would have been properly channeled for better results.
What are your remarks after the event?
Well, my take after this major move is that of being grateful. I am immensely grateful to the powers that be, and to all my collaborators; Shemba Sammuel, Achaleke Christian Leke, Ewehmeh Gilbert, Mambe Churchill Nanje, Fotabe Elmine, Javnyuy Joybert, George Neba, Otto Akama, Foto Rollin, Budi Norbert Mbua, Tenekeu Durane, N. Eric Tongwa, Richard Atem-Ojong, Ruth Enjeh, and Fawoh Nancy, who made this maiden edition a success. I will remain indebted to their commitment and to their earnest support. I am happy, looking back at the outcome of the summit, given the fact that participants came from across six regions to participate in the summit, which to me, is a great achievement. We equally had two businesses, displaying their products at the summit, and which has prompted us adopted a plan to accommodate more businesses next year. Since after the summit, we have received many calls and words of encouragements to such a national course, prompting us to believe it was a good start.
We have already started working on a plan to give the 2020 edition the standard it deserves. We are equally open to accommodate other collaborators who would like to support the next year’s edition. One thing I will like to be frank on is the fact that, this summit is not about me, the Taminang Entrepreneurship Solutions (TENSO) or Go-Africa Initiative Cameroon (GAICAM), it’s about the country and continent whose future depends on our collective actions, including you reading this article.
I am a visionary, and as such, I have the conviction that every strong and vibrant nation in modern history, was built by visionaries whose patriotic hearts drove them to think beyond the confines of their own very survival – few men and women who challenged the normal status quo and focused their energy and passion on their creative and innovative abilities to create businesses and enterprises i.e. individuals who challenged themselves to find solutions to societal problems and built a solid foundation for the growth of their nations, and that is my humble duty to this great nation and the mother continent of Africa.
Thank you once more for this opportunity to share my thoughts with your amazing audience.
***Some portions of this article were compiled by Bomki Modeste Kila and Nsotari Gelmin Simoben.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony K Ansah, Jr., M.P.A. is a self-published author and a social entrepreneur based in Rhode Island, U.S.A. He has written and published several books and content via poems, quotes, fiction, non-fiction, blogs and articles. Tony is also the founder and owner of Ansah Africa, a consulting and marketing startup that connects donors in the U.S.A. with nonprofits in Africa to solve global problems, which was established in 2017.
Copyright © 2019 by Tony Kwame Ansah Jr
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