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CAR: How small businesses are picking up in Bangui

Small businesses and artisans in Bangui are bouncing back after decades of political crisis. Despite the challenges they faced, these resilient entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to rebuild their
livelihoods and contribute to the local economy.

With the return of peace to this once troubled country of about 5 million, small business owners and
artisans are setting up shop, showcasing their unique products and services. It's evident that they have embraced the spirit of resilience and are determined to reclaim their place in the local economy.

At Berger Decor, artisans and apprentices have made a hub for quality furniture and other products.
Paul Ngouyombo who is the master craftsman, takes a break while sipping his coffee as he talks to us. During the war, we lost everything. Our houses were burnt down with all our properties, and we had no money.

He, too, has had to weather the storm during the series of crises in this country. He thinks government support would improve his workshop. Since we began this journey, no one has assisted us, no politician has even come here to ask how we are doing, he laments.

For Miguel Jackson, who specializes in African traditional arts, his experience of weathering the crisis and how he’s adapting to the new normal is quite similar. Resilience against all odds.
After the 2016 general elections, peace has returned to the country, and tourists as well as other
foreigners are beginning to come in, and things are taking shape for the better.

We suffered a lot during the days of the crisis because foreigners are the major base of our business. If they don’t come, we are in trouble, Miguel said.

The prevailing peaceful atmosphere is what has inspired these people to go about demonstrating their skills.

As artisans across the city are finding innovative ways to survive and thrive, there is also a resurgence of real estate within the city with the springing up of several high-rise buildings around the major cities.

Following the successful and peaceful conduct of a constitutional referendum, these people can only
hope for better days ahead.

See also SERAP urges Tinubu to probe missing $15bn, N200bn oil revenue

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