Silicon Mountain is a term used to refer to the tech ecosystem (cluster) in Fako division of Cameroon with epicenter Buea. The term is a play on Silicon Valley and Mount Fako (which is the most dominant feature of Cameroon’s topography and the highest geographical point in West and Central Africa).
A workshop was organized in Cameroon’s Capital Yaounde on Tuesday 17th in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to lay the groundwork for the implementation of Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Reports say this workshop gives the opportunity for Cameroon to assess what the country could benefit from this agreement.
A question in everyone’s mind is how could this improve their living standards as individuals.
Cameroon has been blessed in the last five years at-least with a wave of Tech start-ups( most of which originated from the region which is now popularly known as the Silicon Mountain). All of which strive for some level of financial success at the least.
The question is : How could the AfCFTA ripple down to them.
“We are talking about a continent of over 1 billion people and there are 25 million of us in Cameroon. The advantages of the free trade zone are so many for an economy like ours. It is necessary for us to work day and night to be part of the advantages and not disadvantages. We are confident that it will bring a lot of prosperity and stability to our economy,” Cameroon’s Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, told reporters.
The workshop, the first of its kind, brought together more than 100 stakeholders from the private sector, academia and civil society to evaluate Cameroon’s readiness to ratify the agreement.
Prior to this, twenty two African nations had already ratified the agreement, the minimum threshold which was expected to approve the deal among the 55 members of the African Union.
According to ECA, AfCFTA represents a potential market of 1.2 billion consumers today, and nearly 2.5 billion in 2050, and is a powerful lever to stimulate exports, industrialization, job creation and economic diversification of the African continent.