The 8:30 pm news broadcast on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, on state media CRTV informed the public of President Paul Biya’s decision to STOP money transfer agencies from sending and receiving money internationally. Money transfers will be done at the national level. This decision of Biya Stopping International Money Transfer to and from Cameroon has got dire implications on the economy, entrepreneurs and other organisations depending on international money transfer to unfold.
Biya Stopping International Money Transfer is perceived by many West Cameroonians as a move to sabotage the gofundme project. I know folks in Cameroon who earn a living from freelancing precisely in the Silicon Mountain of Buea. These tech engineers, graphic designers and digital marketers, etc. rely on the western Union, MoneyGram and the world remit to receive payment from clients abroad. President Biya’s decision to stop the international movement of money to Cameroon has received a huge criticism from Cameroonians in general.
According to the world bank, about 120 million people in Africa receive money from about 30 million relatives and friends who left their home country, for a total of USD 60 billion. Moreover, Africans in the Diaspora sent home $33 billion in 2014 to their relatives or friends to help pay for living expenses, education, health care and even to start a business.
Biya Stopping International Money Transfer in Cameroon will hinder not only the sales of digital products but will greatly affect our fashion designers who have a huge customer base abroad. This vicious act of the government of Cameroon will cripple so many businesses and solo-preneurs who carry out international transactions on a regular basis.
The implications of Biya Stopping International Money Transfer into and out of Cameroon are as below:
- Low sales made from Cameroonian selling online as money derived from sales stays out of the country
- Freelancers and those working online whose clients are abroad won’t have access to salaries
- Tech startups will find it difficult to receive money from the sales of their solutions from foreign customers.
- Families back in Cameroon depend on their love ones in the diaspora for financial support. When these families can’t receive money abroad they will probably face difficulties in sustaining a living.
- Economic wise, the movement of money to and from Cameroon benefits the economy as it keeps it booming.
As an entrepreneur, an institution which depends on international money transactions to sustain or survive in business should look into the solutions provided below:
- Open an account in Nigeria. Nigeria is not far from Cameroon. This could enable you to travel to go get your cash from your bank in Nigeria and bring it to Cameroon.
- Use bank to bank transfer. Still, in good faith, you can, however, inform the sender to use his bank to forward the money to your bank. There is a little disadvantage here as you’ve got to wait for 3 working days for activation.
- Use online payment processor such as PayPal and Payoneer MasterCard to retrieve your money
- Create bank accounts in several countries
- As for family remittance, diasporans may ship their credit card to Cameroon. This option is quite expensive, though, but the lives of our loved ones back home matter as some retired parents need these cash to maintain their health.