Philip Simo, return winner in Cameroon

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01 January 2021 Friday 09:39
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Philip Simo, return winner in Cameroon

don't miss the news africa, sign up to the newsletter of the "World Africa" from this link. Every Saturday at 6 hours, for a week of news and debates being addressed by the drafting of the " World Africa ".

Philippe Simo, 35 years. This Franco-Cameroonian is the founder of Investing in the home country, a company that offers to the members of the african diaspora to launch a business on the continent in the forming and securing their business. DR.

He is in a tee-shirt and sweat nearly 7 000 km of Paris. On WhatAspp, Philippe Simo a visit, under a cooking sun, his farm in Douala, Cameroon. Here, a building that is home to 10 000 chickens, further out, fish ponds used to raise catfish ; near palm trees, a greenhouse which grows tomatoes, peppers, herbs and strawberries. His smile unchanging – and the connection is not there for nothing, betrays his pride to be the boss of this farm of 17 hectares.

He bought this land, there are nearly ten years, to develop organic farming. However, the industrial consultant of 35 years, who has long worked in the nuclear, gas and oil after engineering studies in France, did not know large-thing to the sector. But, to force to see China or other foreign powers, to acquire massive amounts of farm land in his native country, he said : "If they buy, it is that person does. Why not me ? "

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Yes, why not. "In Cameroon, I buy on average per hectare [10 000 m2] 15 000 euros. With this sum, you can't even buy 1 m2 in some areas of Paris ", quips he. The Cameroon is still far from self-sufficient, and has provided, for example, to import this year, 900 000 tonnes of wheat. "The productions of the Chinese are not intended to Cameroonians but to China ", he insists. Then, he wants to produce locally to sell their crops on the markets of the country, from Douala to Makary, in the region of the Far North. And one day, perhaps, in the entire sub-region.

't need to commit fortunes

The contractor also had the idea to propose to the african diaspora living in France, but also elsewhere in the West to replicate its model. "I tell them : just do what I do, he reiterates. It is possible, I can assist you. "There are two and a half years, Philippe Simo started a company and a site name that sounds like an advertising slogan : Invest in the country. This concept is known on the social networks now up to 377 000 subscribers on the YouTube channel, more than 56 000 on Instagram and nearly 330 000 on Facebook.

The Franco-Cameroonian comes on the scene to demystify the bad reputation of Africa and to reiterate that it is not a lost cause for the business. "Everybody believes in the potential of Africa, except Africans," stated he. It seeks, on the contrary, to put forward the "economic opportunities" that it can offer to its distant children. In order to contribute to the development of the continent and "re-balance" to the phrase "balance of trade" in african countries.

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His speech is oiled, glamorous, as that of a commercial seasoned. Philippe wants to sell an Africa where opportunities rimerait with profitability. He would like to make Africa its "brains" that have fled the continent for the West, repeating the same message : "It is up to us to develop our country. It is not necessary to wait until after the AFD or the IMF [French development Agency and the international monetary Fund] ! "

Sitting in the shade of a greenhouse under construction, it presents one of its employees. Power salarier compatriots is her other pride. Certainly labour is cheap (55 euros the minimum wage in Cameroon), "but, with 100 euros, you can pay someone, paying him his health insurance and even its housing, it is this mentality that the diaspora must bring it to the continent," he explains.

Philippe Simo now feels much more "useful" than when he was a consultant for Areva and EDF. The mission" to invest in the country "is to push the diaspora to have a double impact to the country of origin" with little things " : the first on the local economy with hiring, the second is in contributing to help the families. This diaspora sends already a lot of money to the continent : € 10 billion shipped each year nothing from France. But, for his project, he aims, first of all, that of "savings," and who wants to invest. And for that, there is no need to commit fortunes .

Fish or chicken

To accompany those who want to try the adventure, it offers training pay. He suggests to bet in particular on... the breeding of chicken, "one of the business the most profitable that we can start in Africa with a low budget," he says. With 2 400 euros for the purchase of 500 chicks, the rental of a building and its " accompaniment ", it promises a return that can reach up to 30 % in forty-five days. The fish is also a good deal, he says. With the same amount, " can you start a business and hire staff. What can you do with this amount in France ? "

In his training, Philippe Simo said to tell the " realities of Africa ", "scams", because "many who are born in France ignore" ; warn about the mistakes not to make, such as that of the "delegate" his case to the parents. It proposes to support and secure the business of the future entrepreneur in various sectors : agri-food, of course, but also the real estate or market research.

Present in Cameroon, Côte d'ivoire, France, and soon in Senegal, this thirty-year-old frisky is aware that it may look " good speaker ". To avoid any misunderstanding, it is to sign contracts in French law in its offices in the suburbs close to paris and speaks regularly of his firm – "window of his know-how" – on YouTube. All this in an effort to create " confidence ". "I know the fear of the diaspora : make fly. There has been a lot of abuse ", he says.

Philippe Simo is convinced that" investing in the home country "will grow" because " the notion of a return to the sources is more and more present, especially among those who live in France ". In two years, 4,000 customers have paid for training and 500 people are in " implementation phase ", he says. For him, this is a small silent revolution ".

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Updated: 01.01.2021 09:39