It has been a long story of good cooperation between MINPMEESA and the UNCTAD business facilitation program. Launched in 2012, the eRegulations system put Cameroon at the forefront of global efforts to achieve administrative transparency in investment procedures. More than 120 procedures, 500 forms and 80 legal basis are now available online, thanks to a partnership between UNCTAD, UNDP and the French cooperation.
The complexity of these procedures is detrimental to enterprise development and particularly harmful to SMEs. It raises production costs, hampers market entry and business expansion, inhibits entrepreneurship and weakens competitive forces. Making administrative procedures faster, more transparent and more efficient is essential to establishing an enabling environment for private-sector development.
UNCTAD strongly believes that information technology can contribute significantly to efficiency in the public service, through transparency, simplification and automation of rules and procedures. It can be used to facilitate the flow of information, both among administrations and between administrations and their ‘customers’: citizens of course, but also businesses, investors and entrepreneurs.
On the basis of the eRegulations work, the Cameroon Government, through the voice of Mr. Minister ETOUNDI NGOA and the teams of MINPMEESA, took the initiative of simplifying ans streamlining business registration procedure. Administrative complexity faced by individual entrepreneurs wishing to register their business (the more underprivileged, the more fragile) was for instance reduced by 75% in Douala, Yaoundé and Garoua.
In 2015, with the support of the European Union, in the context of the Cameroon Business Forum (chaired by Mr. Prime Minister), MINPMEESA decided to go one step beyond and to propose online business registration through the eRegistrations platform, developed by UNCTAD. This single window, baptized ‘MyBusiness.cm’, is now fully operational and allows entrepreneurs to simultaneously register with the Business registry and Tax authorities in Douala, Yaoundé and Garoua.
MyBusiness.cm is a very big step to support and foster entrepreneurship. Cameroon is now the first OHADA country to propose an online single window for business registration. It also joins the very short list of 28 countries around the world proposing simultaneous business registrations online, as stated in the Global Enterprise Registration Index, sponsored by UNCTAD and the US State Department.