As a result of the collaboration between RESSCAM (Social and Solidarity Economy National Network of Cameroon) and the parliamentarians, the Social and Solidarity Economy Parliamentarians Network (the KEY) was officially launched in November 2017*. This is an important step forward for SSE in Cameroon, one in which we should rejoice and also ensure that its work encourages all SSE stakeholders in the field.
Among the challenges that SSE is currently facing in Cameroon, this young network will first have to guarantee that Social Solidarity Economy is being integrated into public policies in Cameroon.
Regarding the social economy framework, this network will need to ensure that the long-awaited SSE draft law will not hinder existing initiatives, such as “tontines” (see this article – in French), self-help groups, etc. These organizations, most of which are included in the informal sector, carry out considerable economic activities and, as a result, provide employment and resource mobilization at a lower cost in Cameroon.
In addition, “The Key” Network should act as a watchdog over the acceleration of the decentralization process through the promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy enterprises at municipal level. As one of the SSE principles involves anchoring activities at local level, SSE has an important role to play in the decentralization process in Cameroon. This should enable each municipality to engage poverty-reduction strategies in a participatory approach, taking into account its own specificities, its environment, its potential, its culture and its constraints.
This network should ensure the harmonization of SSE promotion programs during budget sessions. This means ensuring that those resources are used wisely to support SSE development, and thereby significantly and concretely improve the standard of living of the people.
The fact that the “THE KEY” network is being headed by a woman, the Honorable Marlyse Bell, who in addition is promoting a well-known health mutual society, is an asset because,in Cameroon, women represent the key players in the SSE sector and their place in the informal economy. It is encouraging to see that women playing a full leadership role in the SSE decision-making bodies.
* The Network was created by the President of the National Assembly of Cameroon, by Presidential Order N0 2017/11 / AP / AN of November 16, 2017.