Minister Naledi Pandor’s Visit to Cameroon

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south africa cameroon

Minister Naledi Pandor visited Yaoundé, Cameroon on April 14th, 2023, with the goal of enhancing trade between South Africa and Cameroon. The Minister aimed to facilitate relationships between businesses and people from both countries, and she engaged in productive discussions with His Excellency Mr. Lejeune Mbella Mbella, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Cameroon, and a courtesy call to Prime Minister His Excellency Mr. Joseph Dion Ngute.

Business Forum and Concerns

As part of her official visit, Minister Pandor organized a business forum that brought together companies operating in Cameroon to explore possibilities for business collaboration and increased prosperity for both countries. Despite these efforts, Minister Pandor expressed deep concern about the treatment of South African companies in Cameroon.

During a briefing on April 14th, 2023, senior executives from Chococam (Tiger Brands) and MTN informed Minister Pandor that their bank accounts had been illegally frozen since September 2022. Despite their efforts to seek legal recourse, they have not been successful. Additionally, Vodacom executives updated the Minister on the challenges they face in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pursuing Legal Avenues

Minister Pandor suggested that South African companies pursue all available legal avenues to address their concerns. However, recent developments in Cameroon have left her worried. One such development is the court’s order for banking partners of Chococam and MTN to transfer funds subject to garnishee orders to an escrow account. This move jeopardizes the intended business collaboration and investment between South Africa and Cameroon.

Political Consultations and Conducive Environment

During her visit, Minister Pandor reiterated the need for consistent political consultations between South Africa and Cameroon to create opportunities for greater partnership in critical sectors and projects. However, the current situation challenges the appetite and extent of investments in Cameroon. Minister Pandor called for further exploration to resolve these matters.

Minister Pandor also emphasized the need to create a conducive environment that allows private sector companies from both countries to contribute to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement. Unfortunately, the situation with South African companies in Cameroon stands as an obstacle to achieving this goal.

Fostering strong economic and business relationships requires diplomatic efforts, political consultations, fair treatment, and an environment conducive to growth. Minister Naledi Pandor’s relentless efforts in this area are crucial for a brighter, more prosperous future for both countries. It is essential for all stakeholders to work together to address the challenges faced by South African companies in Cameroon efficiently.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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