The rapid flow of information and technological advancement relating to software, apps and business development in developed nations has been seen as one of the main catalyst in economic growth of these nations as it contributes huge sums of money in their annual budget; example of such include facebook, whatapps, viber, instagram, twitter, share it, etc.
Economist are of the opinion that for developing nations to catch up with economic growth within the 21st century, entrepreneurship must be the center of their education for this will help build minds, perfect talents and create a favorable climate for skills and talents to be transformed into business friendly environments.
Interestingly West African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and some other countries like South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, just to name but these, have understood that entrepreneurship and technological advancement are indivisible and must be taken seriously.
The above nations as of now have created a track record in technological advancement and entrepreneurship which has increased their economic growth and per capital income- reasons why Nigeria became Africa economic giant in 2015.
As a nation in the Central African Sub-Region, Cameroon’s President Paul Biya as part of his policy statement in 2008 stated that by 2035 Cameroon will be an emerging nation whose economy will be good for ordinary Cameroonians.
For Cameroon to achieve emergence by 2035 in a world where technology seems to be the major player, entrepreneurship is the one and only compactable factor that can turn technology into a job and money making machine.
A view which the Catholic University Institute of Buea has long understood as an entrepreneurial University whose vision is to “ bring hope to students and awaken in them a sense of purpose and direction, so that they may achieve social, economic, spiritual, cultural and environmental well-being in their communities and the nation at large”.
As an entrepreneurial university the vision of creating a favorable climate for creative thinkers and innovators cannot be over emphasized as the President/Pro-Chancellor of CUIB Rev. Fr. Dr. George Nkeze is of the opinion that creative minds need among other things, a favorable structure with 24/7 hours of internet connection to facilitate their creativity.
Rev. Fr. Dr. George Nkeze for years now has been a driving force in supporting innovators and creative thinkers in the field of technology and entrepreneurship by giving financial, technical, moral and spiritual assistance and above all scholarships to innovators and entrepreneurs at the Catholic University Institute of Buea (CUIB).
The scholarship opportunities at CUIB is aimed at boasting the technological and entrepreneurial advancement of Young Cameroonians especially those in Buea which is considered as the home of innovators and entrepreneurs dub the Silicon Mountain.
CUIB since its creation at the foot of Mount Cameroon has been consistence in supporting innovators and entrepreneurs in a bid to create a solid foundation of the Silicon mountain village.
This year’s 3rd edition of the Silicon mountain conference was not an exception for CUIB to support, promote and contribute to its growth and development; as creative innovators and entrepreneurs of CUIB surprised the conference participants with exclusive discoveries and entrepreneurial inventions which will boast Cameroon’s economy in the domain of IT and business ventures.
The exhibitions at CUIB stands in Chariot Hotel during this year’s Silicon Mountain Conference took many investors and influencers by surprise as CUIB under the department of the CUIB Center foe Entrepreneurship and Innovation- CEI, championed by the Vice President Mr. Eyoung Eyoung Thaddeus brought in plus 30 new business ventures and innovations which will boast economic growth and increase efficiency of labor in companies in and out of Cameroon.
Some of the innovation of CUIB students were, production of egusi peeling machines, digital city planner, online app for managing real estates with land lords and tenants without physical contacts, online app to request for home cleaning services, production of vehicle whose prototype was tested and found effective, app on digital plan drawer, production of natural soaps, oils, and chemicals etc.
Being one of the panelists during a town hall discussion in the course of the third silicon mountain conference captioned “Driving inclusive Technology Adoption in Cameroon. How can we foster consumption of local technology in Cameroon?”, Rev. Fr. George Nkeze told the audiences that the problem is the mindset syndrome and isolation tendencies in which he stated that Cameroonians need to have a positive mind about their products and must trust Cameroonian developers for they are original in their content.
He cited that many people turn to trust products produced from western countries than products which are produced from their home country just because of the mindset, of which in most cases home made products turn to be the best especially at the level of technological advancement.
He however stated that the innovators and entrepreneurs need to work as a team and see their collaborators as friends and colleagues not as opponents if they want the sector to grow. He pointed out to them that it is through the spirit of teamship that student innovators and entrepreneurs at CUIB are succeeding in the Silicon Mountain and if they can emulate this, it will contribute to the growth of the Silicon Mountain.
Rev. Fr. George Nkeze equally told the innovators at the Silicon Mountain conference that they should do their work with much delight and put in more passion in what they do and above all should enjoy every moment of their work. He reiterated about CUIB’s efforts in creating a place to host innovators and entrepreneurs which is known as “the Silicon Mountain Village” that will have full internet coverage of maximum speed and will be a place for creative thinkers.
He concluded by reassuring participants and innovators about CUIB’s endless supports in contributing to the growth of the Silicon Mountain.
During the second phase of the conference the Vice President of CUIB CEI Eyong Eyong Thaddeus gave a presentation in which he highlighted the role of CUIB in the development of the Silicon Mountain.
During his presentation which he termed “CUIB and the Silicon Mountain Ecosystem”, he elaborated on the contributions of CUIB in the development of the Silicon Mountain. He motioned that; CUIB will continue to play a pivotal role in the development of the Silicon Mountain in all its endeavors; such as provision of scholarships, financial, moral as well as spiritual supports.
Vice President Eyong Eyong Thaddeus concluded his presentation by enumerating some major projects that CUIB students in the Silicon Mountain have developed. Some of which include, Business plan challenge, Apps discoveries among others.
The one day event at chariot hotel in Buea, ended with animation from the CUIB fans club and orchestral that graced the event.