The inaugural Sahel Business Week; an initiative to relaunch economic activities in the country’s northern regions rendered fragile by insecurity, will take place from August 24 to September 1, 2019, organisers have said. Sahel Business Week will feature lectures, workshops, exhibitions and concerts in Maroua, Ngaoundere and Garoua. Organisers made known details of the initiative while holding a pre-event meeting with administrative authorities in Yaounde late last month.
According to Daniel Kalbassou, General Manager of Credit du Sahel, organiser of the Sahel Business Week, the event will be an ideal rendezvous for businessmen just like the mercato is for footballers. He said it will enable businessmen in the southern part of the country to explore the business opportunities inherent in the northern part of the country.
Before the onslaught of the Boko Haram insurgency, just over 60 per cent of trade in the North and Far North Regions was done with neighbouring Nigeria. Insecurity has stifled this transborder trade and provides an avenue for the development of the north-south economic axis; north-Douala axis, according to Kalbassou. “We want to show that the complex security situation is compatible with the carrying out of economic activities. There are countries which have faced insecurity and risk of suicide bomb attacks, yet they are up and kicking,” the General Manager underscored.
Organisers said during the Sahel Business Week, they will set up management counselling clinics and meetups with business development organisations. They will also work towards supporting investors in the region.