Cameroon: Njong Eric Njong, a boss on the rise

By Omer Mbadi
Posted on Wednesday, 7 April 2021 12:07

Njong Erik Njong © SAAD for JA

He does not have the international prestige of Danpullo, Colin Mukete or Kate Fotso. And yet, Njong Eric Njong is the most prominent Anglophone entrepreneur in Cameroon today.

Three years ago, Célestin Tawamba, the boss of bosses, had already named 59-year-old Njong Eric Njong – who spares no effort nor smiles – among the 60 pioneers of Cameroon’s economy.

Tawamba even co-opted Njong and put his name forward during the last election of the executive board of the Groupement Interpatronal du Cameroun (Gicam), in December 2020.

National preference

At Gicam, Njong succeeded Franklin Ngoni Njie, head of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), which is the country’s leading (public) agro-industrial group.

Like CDC, his company, Boh Plantations – founded 12 years ago – produces bananas. Established in the South-West (where Njong himself comes from), it remains a small player in a sector dominated by PHP (Compagnie Fruitière de Marseille), the latter giving it technical assistance. Contrary to what happened to CDC in 2018-2019, the security crisis has not forced Boh Plantations to cease its activities for the time being.

Njong’s compatriots know him best through Buns, the construction company that the Lagos University-educated architect set up in 1993 and which has merged with the firm he founded.

Buns is one of the few local players – along with André Siaka’s Routd’Af – that can still compete with the multinationals in this sector. This businessman, who is a champion of “national preference” within the construction industry, is not hostile to all foreign investors.

For example, he is still chair of the board following the merger between the Cameroonian insurance firm Zenithe and its Senegalese equivalent Sonam.

Immersed for a long time in the financial sector, he also chairs the board of directors of the Union Bank of Cameroon, an institution which – after years of difficulty – may finally see the end of the tunnel.

In February, the state promised to recapitalise the bank, following a decision by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya.

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