Expansion of Kumbo Printing and Communication Centre, Cameroon

In 2002, the diocese of Kumbo (North-West Province of Cameroon) planned to establish a diocesan printing press. Kumbo is very isolated area with a road network that is in poor condition. There is no printing press in the region. The next one is located in Bamenda (about three hours drive from Kumbo) but it is unable to offer high quality jobs. For better quality customers have to go to Douala, the economic capital of the country: That is about 500 km away and means a one-day drive.

After consulting with CAMECO the diocese agreed to first start a "reprography" unit based on an A3 size duplicator and DTP facilities financed by the German diocese of Limburg. Meanwhile, a young man from Kumbo diocese was trained at the printing press of Limburg diocese to become the manager of the small enterprise called Printing & Communication Centre (PCC).

From the very beginning the PCC achieved a good performance and self-sustainability, yes, it even became a profit-making business. In 2006, Kumbo diocese started to think about an expansion of PCC and about developing the centre as a medium-scale "printing press" relying on offset printing facilities. A project proposal was prepared and forwarded to prospective funding partners.

The diocese and its partners in Germany approached CAMECO again for technical advice. CAMECO underlined that an expansion of PCC would most probably require bigger investments in terms of equipment, staffing and building work than initially foreseen. Therefore, CAMECO recommended to the diocese to conduct a feasibility study and a market survey before going ahead. At the occasion of a project journey to Cameroon a CAMECO representative dedicated four days to an on-the-spot visit in order to become acquainted with the local situation and context as well as to give advice on how to plan the expansion properly and carefully and how to carry out a simple market analysis to assess the future sustainability and success of the project.

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