City on the move: Kribi, Cameroon

Kribi port Cameroon

Kribi’s new deep-water port is expected to boost economic activity in the region.

The town of Kribi in Cameroon is home to a newly-built deep water port. The Filipino company International Container Terminal Services recently signed a contract with the Port Authority of Kribi to operate its multipurpose container terminal for a period of 25 years. Previously it was managed by the Cameroonian enterprise, Kribi Port Multiple Operators.

Kribi is expected to relieve pressure on the congested port in Douala (Cameroon’s commercial hub) where goods can be stuck for months. Some expect Kribi to develop into an important industrial city in the coming years.

“There are many business opportunities in Kribi at this moment,” says Messina Guikome, CEO and founder of Messibat International, a construction company specialising in alternative construction materials to build eco-friendly homes and buildings.

Guikome believes increased activity at the port will result in economic growth for the town and region, creating jobs in support services for the port itself and opening up opportunities for other enterprises such as agro-processing, manufacturing and commerce.

“We import so many of our processed agricultural products. Someone who wants to invest in agro-processing in this area, which could then be exported, could really be successful. Take a crop like cassava, for example. Another opportunity definitely exists for someone who is interested in fish farming,” she says.

Along with agro-processing, the Kribi area and its beaches are ideal for tourism, says Guikome. She believes any business linked to real estate – from hotel developments to the construction of villas and apartments – could be successful. Guikome has been in the construction industry in Cameroon since 2009. Most of her private clients in the country are members of the diaspora for whom she builds eco-friendly homes from prefabricated structures filled with rammed earth. Kribi could deliver some new clients.

Tourism to the area is supported by the allure of the beaches, as well as the proximity of the nearby Chutes de la Lobe waterfalls.