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French help power up Cameroon's Silicon Mountain

By , ITWeb
Cameroon , 27 Feb 2020

French help power up Cameroon's Silicon Mountain

French entrepreneurs in Cameroon have donated two heavy-duty generators to businesses in the major tech hub known as Silicon Mountain.

French ambassador to Cameroon, Christophe Guilhou officially commissioned the generators in Buea on 21 February 2020. These were installed at tech hub and incubator ActivSpaces and at Jongo Hub, an innovation-based business development community.

"Innovation is the future of Cameroon and France is helping," said Guilhou.

The generators will keep business operational during intermittent and persistent power outages.

In addition to this challenge, Silicon Mountain has also been affected by internet cuts.

Between January 2017 and March 2018, the region's internet was shut down for a total of 230 days, one of the longest running shutdowns on the continent.

Silicon Mountain's community has also bemoaned the impact of government policies it says do not effectively recognise or support start-ups, as well as that of insufficient funding.

Moreover, the country's start-up ecosystem is affected by the drawn-out armed conflict in the English-speaking North West and South West regions.

Fighting between state security forces and resolute armed separatists has resulted in substantial damage to start-ups and tech companies in the region. Some have folded up while others have moved to relatively safer areas of the country.

Last year, Njorku reported that it had lost US$30,000 after one of its clients pulled out of a deal due to the crisis.

A tweet posted by ActivSpaces reads: "Thank you Mr Ambassador, @ChrisGuilhou and the French Business Community. These electric generators will help supply power at the hubs in Silicon Mountain where the community members come to work. We are receiving this at a time when the power supply in Buea is very poor."

According to GSMA data, there are 18 active tech hubs in Cameroon, out of the 618 in Africa. The StartupBlink Ecosystem Ranking Report 2019 places Cameroon on the 84th position on the top 100 worldwide, ahead of Botswana, Zambia, Algeria and Ethiopia.

The same ranking places Buea's Silicon Mountain as the first tech ecosystem in the country and the 540th out of 1,000 ranked cities in the world.

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