On the 11th of February Better Breed Cameroon awarded the winners of the 2016 Sama Randy Youth Write Essay Competition. The following essay by Awanto Magaret- an undergraduate student majoring in History at the University of Dschang (pictured within) won the 2nd Prize of 75.000 FCFA
Let’s know what you think of this prize winning essay!
Can Cameroonians Entrepreneur their way a brighter future? Why or why not
Essay by AWANTO MAGARET
“No jobs” has long been the cry of a large number of the Cameroonian population particularly the youths and the graduates. It bears with it the hope that the Cameroonian government should create more jobs for her jobless citizens but it is inconceivable that the government could respond to the job need of every of its citizen especially as Cameroon is a mixed economy which entertains both the public and private sectors. The question here is, what are
Cameroonians themselves doing? What about entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship is from the French the ‘entreprendre’ meaning to undertake, pursue opportunities to fulfill needs and wants through innovation, this may include an established organization ( Ndedi, 2012) One is said to be an entrepreneur when he assembles the other factors of production such as land, labor and capital to start a production process which involve risks. Its about time Cameroonians adopted United States president Barack Obama’s slogan of Yes, We Can! I think that through
entrepreneurship, Cameroonians can be able to achieve higher levels of national income, innovation, new businesses, development, employment and also less dependency ratio all summing up to a brighter future
Entrepreneurship leads to innovation and social change through entrepreneurship Cameroonians can create with new products, modified brands of goods and services and new techniques. This means more income for the entrepreneur or the worker. This indirectly supports freedom by reducing dependency and obsolete systems and technologies .thus, the overall result is an Improvement in the quality of life plus greater morale and economic freedom. For example the young dynamic social entrepreneur and Cameroonian Alain Nteff, founder of Gifted Mom an e-content platform for pregnant women in undeveloped areas to help them have safer pregnancies and combat the lack of access to good medical facilities and knowledge which has been leading to high mother and infant deaths in Cameroon. This project has led to 200 medical students being trained, 1200 pregnant women Impacted resulting in a 20% increase in anti natal attendance for pregnant women in 15 communities. It is clear that through entrepreneur ship, Cameroonians can have brighter futures like Alain Nteff did for some communities , not only lives were saved but hope too was given to populations of a brighter future for them and their babies.
In addition, entrepreneurship would increase the national income of the Cameroon. Entrepreneurs literally generate new wealth. existing businesses may remain confined to the scope of existing markets and may hit the glass ceiling in terms of income, new and improved offerings, products or technologies from entrepreneurs enable new markets to be developed and new wealth to be created. Furthermore, the cascading effect of increased employment and higher
earnings contribute to better national income in the form of higher tax revenue and higher government spending, which leads to nation building if the budget is well managed. For example, imagine an increase in the national income of Cameroon leads to the construction of a road and some schools. We all know the famous slogan, which says when a road passes, development follows. The construction of that road will go a long way to better that area through increased communication, circulation and business ventures, probably inviting the area to be habituated
steaming economic activities in the area. The school would lead to increase in the level of literacy and probably keep the children off the streets consequently, making the lives of Cameroonians better by encouraging education, enhancing their happiness, giving them hope and obviously leading them to a brighter future.
Moreover, entrepreneurs create new businesses. Path breaking offers by entrepreneurs in the form of new goods and services results in new occupations, which can produce cascading effects in the economy through the stimulation of related businesses or sectors that support the new venture to add to further development. The creation of new businesses by Cameroonians will lead to higher efficiency because the entrepreneur has a goal and many at times the goal of the entrepreneur is to excel in his venture and make profit. Cameroon is endowed with abundant natural resources and Cameroonians have the liberty of choosing any domain they wish to entrepreneur from. Some options are agriculture, arts, entertainment, information communication technologies. Agriculture for instance is dominant in Cameroon and the youths are increasingly joining the sector. Let us use the case of the Ndawara highland tea estate which is the biggest privately owned tea estate In the world and certainly in whole of Africa. Owned by the Cameroonian Baba Ahmadou Danpullo. This estate is good example of the power of entrepreneur ship. It employs over a thousand Cameroonians and has given the population something to live on , reduced the dependency ratio, Increased the living standards of its workers and their families, reduced crime wave; reduced hunger and increased the chances of education of the children thus leading to a brighter future.
Some argue that Cameroonians cannot entrepreneur their way to a brighter because entrepreneurs are not encouraged by the government. More so, exorbitant taxes are levied on entrepreneurs and this discourages other Cameroonians who aspire to be entrepreneurs. They also not the stressful and time-consuming process they go through when trying to get approval for their enterprise, plus the administrative bottlenecks and constrains. True, it is not easy to get past the all these process to get your business started. However, measures have been taken by this same government to reduce administrative bottlenecks by making it possible to register an enterprise at the regional level without necessarily going to the capital Yaoundé. In addition, the government encourages entrepreneurial ventures especially in the domain of agriculture and also boosts new ideas and innovations with the role of the non governmental organizations, philanthropic associations, religious associations and the ministry of small and medium –sized enterprise, not to mention the funds provided by and to these associations and groups.
Others claim using science that Cameroons cannot entrepreneur their way to a brighter future because they have limited knowledge about entrepreneurship and do not have the skills needed to make the achieving entrepreneurs. Such people totally reject the idea of entrepreneurship as headway
and advocate for technology and science.
Some say the only way forward is through good leadership. These claims are all true however, entrepreneurs in Cameroon no longer have limited knowledge thanks to workshops and seminars organized by philanthropic groups, non governmental organizations and some ministries. Furthermore, Entrepreneurship has been introduced as an obligatory course in all higher institutions for all students in every faculty. More so how can science and technology take us to our desired future if we do not entrepreneur in them? Like young Alain Nteff did, he combined technology, science and entrepreneurship to start his association. In addition every Cameroonian is a leader, why look up to others to deliver your future to you when you yourself can, what we need is a population of good leaders and not
just a good leader.
Entrepreneurship is as vital as blood to the sustainability of the human body. It would not only provide more jobs for Cameroonians but hard-work and purpose would be encouraged. The creation of new businesses would mean more income for some families, lesser rates of dependency and reduction in the gap between the rich and the poor. Thus, entrepreneurship with all certainty would definitely lead Cameroonians to a brighter.
Upon receipt of her award, Margaret was interviewed and had this to say: