YAOUNDE, Cameroon, 29th November, 2022 (WAM) -- Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, has led an Emirati delegation of business, investment, and development leaders, including Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, to Cameroon to explore opportunities and strengthen UAE-Cameroon ties.
During the visit, Al Zeyoudi held numerous talks on Cameroon's ambitious growth plans and current logistics and infrastructure needs, including meetings with Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Minister of State and Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic; Luc-Magloire Mbarga Atangana, Minister of Commerce; and Gaston Eloundou Essomba, Minister of Energy and Water.
These discussions highlighted the Cameroon government's pledge to increase the contribution of renewables to 25 percent of the country's energy mix by 2035, as well as its hydropower generation potential, which ranks as the third highest on the African continent.
Al Zeyoudi highlighted the significant potential for enhanced UAE-Cameroon ties and underscored the value of such visits to the UAE's foreign trade and investment agenda. "Cameroon is an emerging and ambitious economy, and it is evident that there is considerable scope to extend bilateral trade and enhance investment flows into priority sectors such as renewable energy, technology and logistics," he said.
"The UAE invested US$1.2 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa between January 2016 and July 2021, and this visit has underlined the significant opportunity that exists in Cameroon. I am confident we have created an important platform for future collaboration between the public and private sectors while underlining the role the UAE plays as a launchpad for African companies seeking to expand into global markets," he added.
Al Shorafa, in turn, stated, "The UAE can play a role as a global gateway for Cameroon and the West Africa region, helping to open greater access to expanding trade routes for both new and established markets. There is huge potential for Abu Dhabi to further deepen ties, increase trade flows, and accelerate investments between our countries.
"This visit further cements our commitment to expanding our economic and trade relationships with essential markets. We look forward to continuing to establish ways of fostering long-term, mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships across key sectors, such as agriculture, logistics, renewable energy and telecommunication."
Economic ties between the UAE and Cameroon have been growing steadily in recent years, with non-oil trade reaching $406 million in the first nine months of 2022, an increase of 5.7 percent over the same period in 2021 and 113 percent over the same period in 2020.
The UAE delegation also included Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation; Rashid Salem Al Shamsi, Director of the Development Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Yousef Tahnoun, Deputy Chairman of the Umm Al Quwain Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Abdelsalam Mohammed Al Ali, Commercial Attache at the UAE Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva; Ahmed Al Kalbani, Chief Economist at the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development; and Walid Mohammed Al Falahi, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Consultancy and UAE Trade Centre.