The crisis is real but we have so far experienced no attack in the industrial zone’. These are the first words of an industrialist operating in the MAGZI Ombe industrial zones. As we march within the road network of the zone, one can hear sounds of industrial machines operating on and off in spite of the on-going social unrest. For the past four years the two Anglophone regions of the country have been prey to several secessionist attacks which has seriously impeded the economy of these Regions in particular and Cameroon in particular. The industrious nature of these Regions is such that industrialists willing to establish will somehow make gains from their economic activities.
Undeniably the crisis has affected the economy of the Regions, at the level of the investments thus touching employment. Recent surveys have revealed that invisible underemployment has increased more than unemployment – 90% for the North- West and 69% for the South-West. Yet, the foregoing is not a fatality, but rather a motivating factor to revamp local economy in order to change the trends and curves.
According to NIS, one in ten (12%) of all nationally registered firms in the primary and secondary sector are located in the South-West, thus reflecting the strong contribution to country’s cash crop production. Down in the South-West, particularly in Ombe where there is a fully equipped industrial zone, counting numerous industries operating in various sectors, establishing in the Ombe Industrial will boost the regional economy. Considering the fact that most formal firms (57%) are located in neighbouring Douala, with a greater part in the MAGZI industrial zones, the Ombe industrial zone (some 44 km to Douala) is ideally located to rival and serve as back-up to the industrial Littoral Region. This nearness to Douala can also be advantageous in terms of nearness to market. An industrial unit established or operating in the MAGZI Ombe industrial zone, is closer to both raw material import and export and closer to largest national and Central African sub-regional market. To that effect, there is a safe and peaceful and smooth road linking the Ombe industrial zone to Douala and beyond.
Though economic activities have substantially reduced and from a keen observation of industries operating within the zone, it is indicative that activities are though slowed down but not destroyed. It is worth mentioning that measures have been taken to mitigate security risks, however, the Ombe Industrial zone has been so far considered as one of the safest places in the South-West. As such, it goes without saying that, there is security of investments and functioning.
The State through MAGZI is making enormous efforts to provide necessary support to industrialists willing to invest in these Regions. With lands that suit industrial activities and given at affordable prices, the MAGZI Ombe industrial zone is an ideal place for several reasons mentioned herein above. The attractiveness and strategic
geographical location of the zone is such that most if not all, most industrial projects can be properly launched in that fully equipped zone.