The Validation Workshop of the evaluation of the potential of the Social Economy in Cameroon was held virtually on 27 April 2021

The workshop was co-organised by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts of Cameroon (MINPMEESA) to discuss and validate the results of the study on "The evaluation of the needs of social economy units and the identification of priority value

News | 26 May 2021
Minister Achille Bassilekin III
The workshop was moderated by Mr. Rodrigue Raoul Zuchuon, ILO Enterprise Development Specialist for Central Africa and started with opening remarks by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts of Cameroon, Mr. Achille Bassilekin III. The Minister stressed the importance of this study in the framework of the implementation of the National Programme for the Development of the Social Economy (PNDES). He added that the study is a concrete product to initiate a cooperation programme with the ILO to support social economy units in Cameroon. His full speech is available here. Mr. Lassina Traore, Acting Director of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for Central Africa and Country Office for Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, also gave his opening remarks. Mr. Traore gave the background to the study and explained that the social economy is at the heart of the ILO's mandate as a tool for creating decent jobs. He pointed out the increased relevance of the social economy at ILO due to the recent decision of the ILO Governing Body to include a general discussion on "Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and decent work" on the agenda of the 2022 International Labour Conference (ILC). His full speech is available here.

The workshop continued by framing the study in the technical work of the ILO and MINPMEESA. In particular, Ms. Valentina Verze and Mr. Guy Tchami, technical officers of the ILO Cooperatives Unit presented the work of the organisation in promoting cooperatives and more broadly the SSE. They highlighted the role of the ILO in different countries in supporting constituents in creating a favourable ecosystem for the development of SSE. The PowerPoint presentation is available here. Mr. Joseph Ahanda, Director of the Social Economy Directorate (DES) of MINPMEESA placed the study within the framework of the PNDES and the recent developments of SE in Cameroon, including the framework law No. 2019/004 governing the social economy in Cameroon and décret No. 2020/0001 decree No. 2020/0001 on the structuring and functioning of the network of social economy units. Mr. Ahanda also stressed the need to start operationalising and capitalising on these efforts in order to sustain the Social Economy sector.

Mr. Thierry Tana Hervé Essomba, ILO Consultant, presented the objectives, methodology and main findings of the study. The study, carried out in close collaboration with the ILO and MINPMESSA, saw the involvement of many Social Economy stakeholders in Cameroon, including 395 social economy units surveyed. The area covered by this study is spread over 20 municipalities in the Central, Western, Littoral and Northern basins. The study identified ten (10) priority sectors in all of these communes that create jobs and wealth, out of an initial list of thirty (30) sectors. This study also revealed that it is essential to offer support at the level of public policies and legal frameworks of the Social Economy, to the valorisation of priority value chains for the creation of decent jobs, as well as to the priority needs of Social Economy Units and their ecosystems (also in relation to covid-19). The PowerPoint presentation is available here.

The exchanges with key stakeholders were intense and fruitful. Participants came from different organisations - notably MINPMEESA, the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Land Management (MINEPAT), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER), the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINEPIA), INADES Formation, the Cameroon Mayors' Network for the Social and Solidarity Economy, the Local Network for the Social and Solidarity Economy of the commune of Yaoundé 7, the PIDMA project.

The workshop commended the quality of the study and validated it, subject to its finalisation on the basis of the comments received. This study represents the first step in the development of an ILO’s development cooperation project to support MINPMEESA in the implementation of the PNDES.
For more information on the ILO's work on SSE, see here.