In Douala, an exhibition-sale of solid wood works made by women was organized last month: a way for "Artisan au féminin" to promote the participation of women in the wood processing industry in Cameroon.
Following the sensitization and advocacy meeting held in Yaoundé on March 02, 2022, the association "Artisan au féminin" organized on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 in partnership with Innov'Tempo an exhibition-sale of solid wood products made by women.
Innov'Tempo, directed by Mrs. Patricia DIKA NSANGUE AKWA, is specialized in communication and cultural activities and is particularly interested in the issue of women's empowerment through the development of income-generating activities in the forestry-wood sector.
After the opening of the exhibition-sale by the Governor of the Littoral, the visit of the stands took place with the presentation of wooden works and the purchase of different objects by the Ministers, their wives and the visitors. There were seven young women exhibitors who have been trained by "Artisan au féminin". They exhibited napkin rings, benches, small bookcases, cutting boards, bags, candles, key chains, …
The young women exhibitors were very busy presenting and selling their products. However, they were able to share their impressions of the training they received and their expectations. They are very satisfied with the training which lasted 4 weeks, 3 for the theory and 1 for the practice, but they regretted the duration of the training, too short according to them. This short format is favored by the President Hélène MAPOKO to avoid the abandonment of the training. They were indeed 13 registered for this training, but only 7 completed it.
The backgrounds of these young women trained by "Artisan au féminin" are diversified: some have given up their studies and decided to follow a practical training. Others already have professional experience in sewing or decoration and wanted to enrich their profiles with expertise in the wood industry. The main obstacles to the involvement of young women in the wood trades are: lack of self-confidence, the use of machines requiring physical strength, and access to quality materials. Their main wishes are to have access to safety equipment at work (gloves, safety shoes) and to machines, and to follow training in sales techniques, trade and marketing in order to better sell their products.
At the end of this event to promote the achievements of women in the forestry-wood industry, “Artisan au féminin” received a letter of encouragement from the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts (MINPMEESA). The holding of the furniture and non-timber forest products (NTFP) fair next June will be a new opportunity to promote the know-how of women working in the wood processing sector.