Exclusive interview with Alfred AFFOYON, Partner, KPMG Afrique Centrale. KPMG is a bronze sponsor at iPAD Cameroon. “KPMG is a key player in the energy sector and considers this sector as one which will drive the growth and development of Cameroon.”
Let’s start with the most exciting projects that KPMG is involved in at the moment?
KPMG is an international firm involved in various mega projects around the world. I will be talking mainly of our operations in Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Gabon and EG which are markets that are directly covered by KPMG Afrique Centrale. We are a service company and have to make sure our service offerings is relevant in meeting the needs of our clients. In the region, we have identified huge infrastructure gaps. The filling of these gaps is critical for these countries to attain the development target defined in their agenda and within the timeline. In this regards, we have set up cross border service teams to help promoters, governments, businesses and development organisations in addressing their needs. One of such projects we are currently working on is the structuring of a 109MW IPP project.
What makes KPMG stand out from its competitors?
First of all, we are an international firm, which gives us the edge in responding to our clients need anywhere in the world. Our firms are operated and managed locally by people in, and from, the places we operate. This means we fully understand the local context. KPMG Afrique Centrale currently have about 100 professional from 5 countries in sub-Saharan African. The mix of local expertise and global footprint permits an efficient approach, in line with our clients’, to respond to their needs. Besides our footprint, KPMG was the first firm to organize itself in line of business. Therefore we have team of specialists in each sector. Our coordinated approach and footprint enable us to deliver services ranging from audit, tax and legal, corporate finance, deal advisory, risk consulting and management consulting at the same standards anywhere in the world. Moreover, our commitment to our customers stands on our principles and values that are conveyed throughout the KPMG network: We lead by example and we act with integrity. We work together and we respect the individual.
Please tell us more about your business interests in Africa? And specifically in Cameroon?
Like I said earlier, KPMG is an international firm made up of network of national firms. As such, the strategy of the firm is first and foremost global, and then regional down to national level. Africa as a region continue to be seen as the next frontier, a view that is equally shared by KPMG, reason why, KPMG is investing heavily in this region.
Cameroon is one of the key markets in Francophone Africa giving its economic strength and diversification. As such, Cameroon is the hub of some of our regional service delivery teams. We have strong presence in every sector and are working with almost every market leader in Cameroon. We have been working closely with the government and many government agencies. We are also involved with SMEs and family businesses and we have particular interest with these groups that constitute a huge portion of the national economic and will be the drivers of tomorrow’s growth.
What in your view are the main challenges to the power sector in Cameroon?
It is well known that Cameroon has one of the highest energy potentials in Africa, yet hydro still accounts for almost all of the country’s energy source. The current capacity is still not sufficient to propel the countries booming and diversified economy despite significant strive made in the last few years. Therefore, the country has an urgent need to develop its energy mix in order to meet the needs of the economy for today and in the future. This issue is well known to the minister of energy and water resources.
Challenges mean opportunities, what are the opportunities for prospective investors?
There are huge opportunities in Cameroon, not only in the power sector. Those that have invested are reaping significant benefits and we continue to see new investors coming into the country. We have been part of several trade missions and we keep receiving request to assist in setting up in Cameroon from potential investors. So instead of elaborating opportunities in the sectors, I will rather throw some light on the enabling environment which potential investors should consider in their investment decision.
Firstly, Cameroon has enjoyed several years of political stability post-independence. This is bound to continue as the country is on strong economic growth. The country also has high income level and is part of the CEMAC region giving access to a market of about 50 million inhabitants. The population is also very vibrant constituting of about 50% youths and a growing middle class. The educational level is very high ensuring a readily available workforce. The laws are very encouraging, with no restriction on ownership and foreign employees. The country has also implemented an investment code aim at encouraging new investors with significant incentives both at the set-up and operational phases of investment. Already, more than 25 projects have been approved to be eligible to benefit from these advantages.
What is your vision for the industry?
The power sector is being restructured. We recently witnessed the creation of a state company that will transport the energy produce. We expect significant changes in this sector in the coming years. The achievement of the energy agenda is key to the country in meeting its 2030 development strategy.
Why did you decide to partner with iPAD Cameroon?
KPMG is a key player in the energy sector and considers this sector as one which will drive the growth and development of the country. We have several thought leadership on the energy sector and we currently advice top players in the world and in Cameroon. It was obvious that we should be present at the first ever iPAD conference in Cameroon. I should remind you that we were also part of the conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What will be your message at the event?
Our purpose is to empower change by helping our clients cut through complexity. We provide simple and appropriate solutions to the various issues or problems our clients may have. We want our clients and potential investors to know they have local partners ready and capable to serve them achieve their objectives in Cameroon.
Anything you would like to add?
I wish to invite the general public to take part in this event and seize the opportunity to talk to some KPMG persons that will be waiting to