“Bamboo is the timber of the future”
- MR. Director General, you have just visited the Kribi Port Authority and you have seen what you have seen. Now, tell us we are still wondering why the Boss of Bamboo and Rattan Organization is here in Kribi. What’s that relationship?
The objective of INBAR is to help the economic development of people in the member countries. Cameroon being a very important member, I came to see how Cameroon is taking advantage or can take advantage of the presence of bamboo in helping to develop the country and the people of Cameroon. A port like Kribi is very important to the economic development of a country. So, it is very relevant that I should come and see this Port as an instrument of bringing development to the people of Cameroon.
I am very happy that I have been able to come here and see this very modern Port and I must also say that I have been wondering why is it that most of what you are handling to export are logs from timber. This means that you are cutting more and more trees from the forest. Bamboo is relevant because after a number of years, you will not have the capacity to export so much logs because the trees will be cut down. What will replace these trees? Bamboo is the timber of the future. You can replace these logs. Within five years, you can have another forest. I think in the future, this Port will also be very useful. It will continue to be useful at least to developing the country through the export of bamboo as well because there is a lot of potential here in Cameroon for bamboo.
- Are you talking about a future collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, maybe planting or setting out a contract for bamboo here in Cameroon so that the Port can directly help ?
I think there are long-term plans for sure. What we are doing here in Cameroon and other countries is to help countries to realise to use first their natural potential, their natural bamboo that is available. But also, to plant other useful species of bamboo which we can import from other countries which can do better in terms of industrial production, in terms of making furniture and so on. For the long-term plan, the organization will encourage Cameroon to develop and plant more bamboo in this country. At the moment, INBAR is assisting in developing a centre which will help to train local people to have better skills in how to use bamboo and to manufacture things for export value.
So, we are doing it and I think before I end this visit, I will sign a memorandum of understanding to establish the centre. We have already bought the equipment. As I said, it is now being created in Douala. Within a few weeks, we shall establish the centre in Yaoundé not only for the use of Cameroon, but for other countries in Central Africa. Very much ahead, we are also wanting to expand this centre to be much bigger with more equipment to train more people so that more people can develop bamboo and make it an export product and then help the economy of Cameroon. So back to this Port, it is going to play an important role for the future of this country. That is why I am here. Thank you.