To promote & develop entrepreneurship: UBa receives 100 million FCFA financial support from SMEs ministry.
The framework partnership agreement between MINPMEESA and UBa was signed to this effect in Yaounde Tuesday, November 15.
Minister Achille Bassilekin III signed on behalf of his ministry, while the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Cooperation and Relations with the Business World of UBa, Prof Molua Ernest, who represented the Vice Chancellor, penned the deal for the institution.
The framework partnership agreement, we gathered, aims at promoting and disseminating an entrepreneurial culture. The partnership includes capacity building in entrepreneurship for students, local Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, SMEs, and UBa staff.
This agreement, it was said, also aims at supporting the formalisation and development of business incubation structures, in particular to those housed within the College of Technology, COTECH, and the National Advanced Polytechnic Institute, NAPI, at UBa.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, MINPMEESA boss highlighted the importance of the partnership agreement, noting that it contributes to the popularisation of the national entrepreneurship strategy through the development of incubator structures.
The member of government said his ministry has granted substantial subsidies to public incubation structures within the state universities amounting to two billion FCFA to date.
For this year, the minister revealed, 400 million FCFA has been set aside to support public incubation structures. This, he said, includes 300 million FCFA for state universities.
The minister disclosed that it was in this light that the National Advanced Polytechnic Institute of the University of Bamenda, was receiving 100 million FCFA.
The partnership, the minister stressed, constitutes a decisive step towards economic development.
Minister pose for group photograph with high level UBa delegation
He reiterated the fact that his ministry was keen on supporting the University of Bamenda in the implementation of its incubation activities, the setting up and financing of incubation projects, and ensuring that training modules and support systems comply with relevant structures.
“We believe that there is no boundary in terms of expanding entrepreneurship education and particularly disseminating entrepreneurial culture throughout the country. The University of Bamenda happens to be one of those universities where in terms of research teaching but also expansion of opportunities for students we see some practical developments. And we felt that this grant of 100 million FCFA is going to provide them the necessary financial support to accelerate the functioning of their incubation process, but also to expose the students of the university to the opportunities provided by the entrepreneurship culture and also the opportunity to develop their own small businesses,” the minister said.
He added that: “We are fully aware that the new law for higher education provides opportunities for student entrepreneur’s status. We see the University of Bamenda as one of the laboratories where this process can easily be implemented. This is the reason why we support them and believe that this partnership is going to make not only a difference in the economic recovery of the region but also expand opportunities for the small business in Bamenda and in the whole region”.
Enter Prof Molua Ernest
Professor Molua Ernest, speaking earlier on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of UBa, thanked the minister for contributing to the vision of the institution.
The UBa DVC/RCB pointed out that the cooperation agreement represents a hallmark achievement of the Vice Chancellor, who, through her untiring efforts, continues to reposition UBa as a veritable entrepreneurial university poised to occupy the emerging innovation landscape in the country.
Prof Molua also said the agreement will not only promote and expand research and community outreach of UBa, but also encourage the incubation of new technology companies by students and teachers, capable of contributing to the economic growth of the country.
“This partnership agreement is to improve teaching, research and cooperation, and our relationship with the community of the University of Bamenda. We are building the capacity of our students to be able to become veritable entrepreneurs so that the mandate of the UBa as the entrepreneurial university of the future can be upheld by this agreement,” Prof Molua said.
Created in 2010, the University of Bamenda is one of Cameroon's eleven state universities, located in the North West Region. The “University of the Future”, as it is referred to, trains students in various disciplines through its schools and faculties.