ILO COOP 100 Interview
Prof. Dr. Emmanuel Kamdem, Secretary General of the Pan African Institute for Development (PAID), former official of the International Labour Organization
Established in March 1920, the ILO’s Cooperatives Unit marks its Centenary in 2020. On this occasion, the ILO COOP 100 Interview series features past and present ILO colleagues and key partners who were closely engaged in the ILO's work on cooperatives and the wider social and solidarity economy (SSE). The interviews reflect on their experience and contributions in the past and shares their thoughts on the future of cooperatives and the SSE in a changing world of work.
How did your interest in cooperatives first start?I am a Cameroonian coming from a region with traditional tontines and modern cooperative movement in agriculture. As a farmer my father was a cooperator in both the traditional and modern cooperative systems.
Could you share with us some of the highlights of your work with the ILO on cooperatives?On ILO’s Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (No. 193), I am the one who wrote the White report, prepared the questionnaire, collected the answers from ILO member Countries and treated them. Like other colleagues in ILO COOP, I was an Expert in the International Labour Conference that adopted Recommendation 193 in 2002.
Concerning the OHADA uniform act on cooperative societies, I am the initiator of the letter sent to OHADA through the Pan African Cooperative Conference to draw its attention to the fact that the uniform act on business law did not include cooperative societies and even abolished them by saying that no other form of society will be accepted in the 17 OHADA member States. I then used ILO COOP expertise and COOPREFORM project to conduct the formulation process up to final adoption in 2010 in Lomé, Togo.
I backstopped many international, regional and national projects like MATCOM in Vienna, ACOPAM in Dakar and other cooperative development projects in many countries. I worked closely with various international cooperative organizations such as the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and with many universities involved in cooperative issues.