Stakeholders in the cotton/textile sub-sector in the country are currently exhibiting what the country produces as well as the path it has covered in local processing with the goal of inciting local consumption. This is within the framework of the first-ever national cotton/textile days code-named, "Textile Show" underway in the courtyard of the Yaounde multipurpose sports complex in the Wada neighbourhood.
Presiding at the opening ceremony of the event, the Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, said the cotton/textile sector was once vibrant, contributing about 11 per cent to the country's Growth Domestic Product in the 1980s. Crises, he said, set in and the sector plummeted and contributed barely 4 per cent to the country's economy in the year 2000. The ongoing textile show, Minister Mbarga Atangana said, offers an opportunity for actors not only to show the world what they are capable of doing but also to jointly seek or propose solutions to problems that mar the effective flourishing of the sector.
"This show gives us an opportunity to see the creativity of youth and how rich the country is in textile. We want to conquer the market within and without Cameroon and it is thus necessary to showcase what we are capable of doing so that from there we can consume what we produce and produce what we produce which is the fervent wish of the Head of State," the Minister said. "After Festicacao some weeks ago, here comes Festitextile and next year, we will have festicafé. This tells you that Cameroon is on the move to effectively consuming what it produces and producing what it consumes," Mr Mbarga Atangana added.
Other speakers like the Secretary General of the Cotton/Textile Interprofessional Sub-sector, Olivier Bertrand Moukomoo and the promoter of BlazDesign, Blaz Essomba, lauded government's move to hold the ongoing show. "We pray the Ministry of Trade to introduce in its road map a yearly national cotton/textile week so that Cameroonians can come to know what they have and get into its consumption rather than rely on importing what they have in their backyard," they said.
Participants at the show were unanimous that besides boosting national cotton production which is today in the neighbourhood of 250,000 metric tons per annum, another challenge is engendering local processing which they said is still at a paltry 5 per cent of local production and which greatly contributes to incessant importation of cotton finished products on one hand and the exportation of raw cotton on the other.