Two teams from the Intercultural Management Master’s programme, in cooperation with the Cameroonian non-governmental organisation “Esperanza Cade”, experienced an unusual business project. The NGO supports the traditional kings in Cameroon in their development activities. CBS President Prof. Elisabeth Fröhlich had already invited the kings to the international CSR conference at the CBS in 2018. Subsequently, the idea for a joint business project was born.
Communication with Africa also via Skype
The idea for the business project was to have Master students in Intercultural Management study how to support business development in Cameroon. Due to the distance of about 5000 km and the sometimes difficult travel conditions in Africa, the first briefing took place via Skype. The general director of Esperanza Cade, the traditional Princess Espérance Fezeu, answered questions about the business project online to the students. The first two presentations were also held via Skype. The final presentation took place at the CBS. Espérance Fezeu and a traditional Cameroonian king visited our campus in Cologne.
African KUM and the conditions on site
Adapted to local conditions, the focus was on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. This was based on a detailed examination of the political and economic situation in Cameroon. In doing so, the prerequisites and success factors that have a beneficial effect on entrepreneurial activities and economic development in Cameroon were also analysed. Of course, the political stability in the Central African country would be important. The situation in Cameroon was compared with the situation in economically successful and politically stable other African countries. Above all, the success factors for entrepreneurial activities in other countries on the African continent were also examined.
Action plan for traditional authorities and local development
For the final presentation of the business project, the students prepared an action plan with the aim of supporting the development of entrepreneurship in Cameroon. With the help of already existing best practice examples, concrete suggestions were made on how Esperanza Cade and the traditional kings can accelerate this development process. This was also done with a view to the “bottom-up” philosophy of the Cameroonian NGO, which does not leave development in Africa exclusively to the heads of state, but wishes to involve traditional authorities decentrally in local development.