“When a tourist arrives somewhere, he goes to a restaurant and asks for the local cuisine. It is this cuisine that he remembers, which can make him want to come back to visit the destination. This is what we have to do”, these terms were pronounced by the Minister of Tourism and Leisure (Mintoul), Bello Bouba Maïgari, at the end of a workshop organized on June 24, 2022 in Yaoundé, under the theme ” national seminar on the analysis of the segments of the value chain of the culinary traditions of Cameroon previously selected, which have a link with intellectual property”. They sufficiently summarize the policy of promoting the tourist destination “Cameroon”, via local gastronomy, which this ministerial department and the World Intellectual Property Organization have been trying to set up, for almost 3 years, within the framework of the “Intellectual Property and Food Tourism in Peru and Other Developing Countries”.
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As indicated by the Mintoul, the workshop mentioned above was intended to identify the intellectual property instruments that could be used to promote local culinary traditions. The final objective is to use these instruments to promote 14 qualified Cameroonian dishes, which were selected during a round table organized on December 7, 2021. These include Ndolé, Achu and Okok. The Ministry of Tourism wants to label these riches of Cameroonian cuisine, to make them real tourist assets. “The seminar is designed as a national conference which concerns gastronomy stakeholders including hoteliers, restaurateurs as well as intellectual property stakeholders. It aims to inform and build the capacities of the parties concerned and the beneficiaries to promote the culinary traditions selected and disseminate intellectual property on the gastronomic tourism sector,” detailed the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation.
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For the record, in its latest survey on gastronomic tourism published in 2019, the International Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reveals that gastronomy is the third reason for travel in the world after culture and nature. But in this culinary tourism, the organization reveals that Africa remains almost non-existent. Cameroon is trying to get there, however, and has been doing so for almost 5 years. We remember that in 2018, the former Prime Minister of Tourism, Philémon Yang, during the 19th session of the National Council of Tourism which he had caused, gave instructions to make Cameroon a culinary destination of first choice. “Cameroonian gastronomy offers prospects and opportunities for the development of agriculture and even livestock breeding. It also contributes to the creation of businesses and to the increase in demand for better quality products in the localities and thereby helps to strengthen Made in Cameroon”, he said.