News  |  12.11.2021

Professional training activities of the ATIBT. Results of the mission SME-SMEs of the timber sector in Cameroon

A mission of support accompaniment of the associations of small and medium-sized craft industries of the timber sector to integrate the training function in the management of their structures, took place between October 11 and November 04, 2021.

Professional training activities of the ATIBT. Results of the mission SME-SMEs of the timber sector in Cameroon

The objective of this mission was to make a diagnosis of the organization of associations and of their capacity to manage the training function. The aim was to discuss with the professionals their production chain and their needs, and ultimately to make recommendations for structuring the sector in order to integrate the training function.

The two expert consultants, Pierre DESCOMBES and Eric HAUDIQUET, met with the umbrella organizations FECAPROBOIS, ANCOVA, ATBO and Artisans au féminin, as well as several of their members. These actors benefited from a participatory diagnosis and formative meeting sessions. They were also able to meet with officials of training institutions: CPB Nkolbisson, Lycée Technique Charles Atangana, ENEF Mbalmayo, CFTM, Don Bosco Mimboman and Don Bosco Ebolowa. The involvement of community forests through ReCTRAD and the Southern Regional Council to supply the local market with timber led the consultants to visit a community forest and hold a training meeting in Ebolowa.

Some results of the diagnosis:

  • The main strengths of the forestry-wood sector in Cameroon are the existence of a dynamic artisanal fabric, a proper power supply, a lively spirit of association and cluster, and an offer of efficient training organizations, as well as competent professionals.
  • As weaknesses, this economic sector is supposed to develop on the waste of the forestry and sawmill, according to the legal texts. There is no system of continuous training (CT), nor any official financing mechanism. The trainers in the training centers have little experience in the field of continuing education.
  • The obstacles to the development of the sector are the scarcity of wood resources, competition from exporters for timber intended for the domestic sector (including sawmill waste), and the disappearance of "employees" who become "freelancers" for large public contracts.

Craftsman Realization

From these observations, two strategic axes of intervention emerge, on which all the stakeholders of the forestry-wood sector are led to work, beyond the ADEFAC project:

  1. Increase the availability of timber resources for the local market
  • Support the CRS project (Conseil Régional du Sud) which aims to facilitate access to forest resources by supporting community forests in the cutting and marketing of wood.
  • Prioritize the training of trainers, and experiment with modules organized in the Community Forests.
  1. Establish flexible management mechanisms for ongoing training
  • Support FECAPROBOIS as the prime contractor for continuing education (Continuing Professional Education) in the secondary processing sector;
  • Support the CRS in the establishment of a regional system of continuing vocational training, in line with the effective implementation of decentralization;
  • Support "Artisan au féminin" (AAF) to offer training adapted to the constraints of Cameroonian women and also targeting specific markets (bamboo, wicker, art).

Craftsman visit

The next activity to be carried out within the framework of the ADFEAC project and which supports this idea of a project management in 2 or 3 poles, is the training of trainers which will take place in Yaoundé from November 22, 2021 to December 04, 2021. The participants in this training are professionals from companies, SMEs and trainers from training institutions.