Egypt’s Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy has met with a delegation from the United Councils and Cities of Cameroon (UCCC), to discuss enhancing cooperation between the two countries.
The cooperation will focus on the furniture industry, as well as the wood industries, with the meeting including three governors from Cameroonian cities.
It took place after the governors participated in the 25th ordinary session of the Executive Committee of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa in Cairo.
Shaarawy said that the meeting aimed to discuss future cooperation mechanisms between Egypt and Cameroon in the furniture industry, as well as in wood imports.
It also reviewed methods of exploiting the competitive advantages of both countries, as Egypt is a regional and global leader in the furniture industry. Meanwhile, Cameroon is one of the main exporters of various types of wood in the world.
The minister added that a study was conducted to establish an Egyptian-Cameroonian partnership in the furniture industry. This will see wood imported from Cameroon, with Egyptian furniture exported to open new markets in West African countries.
He said that African countries boast many competitive advantages, natural resources, and raw materials that can create industrial opportunities and provide great economic resources to improve the living conditions of their people.
Shaarawy also said that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has focused on the need to benefit from the natural resources found in Africa, and to add value to the countries across the continent.
The minister added that Egypt is keen on improving the furniture industry, especially with the establishment of the Damietta Furniture City. It is planned that the city will become an integrated and specialised centre in the furniture industry, in order to meet the needs of the local market, and open the prospects for exporting furniture.
Moreover, the Cameroonian delegation asserted its keenness to facilitate all procedures for cooperation between the private sectors in the two countries, focusing on timber and furniture.
The delegation noted that Cameroon is among the top 10 countries in the timber sector globally, and added that in the upcoming period, the country can create appropriate mechanisms to start cooperation with Egypt in this field.
Meanwhile, Gregory Myano, Mayor of the Cameroonian city of Kombo, asserted his desire to encourage Egyptian-Cameroonian cooperation in the wood and furniture industries.
He added that he is looking to create an added value for that industry, whilst highlighting that Cameroon can provide all support to facilitate the necessary procedures to introduce Egyptian furniture to its domestic market. This would also ensure that Egyptian expertise can be used to train Cameroonian youth.
During the meeting, it was agreed to exchange information between the two countries to identify the furniture industry requirements of the Cameroonian market, as well as the types of raw wood materials.