Under the name of “Social Solidarity Economy (SSE), Gender Equality and Promotion of Innovation”, RESSCAM organised this interesting session during the first day of FORAESS. RESSCAM is the SSE Network of Cameroon, legalized and active since 2013. They signed a partnership agreement with the Ministry in charge of the SSE (MINPMEESA) in October 2019. This ministry, with, among others, RENESS, the National SSE Network, is organizing this African ESS Forum (FORAESS) in which this activity is part. RENESS was created in 2023, a few months before the last GSEF Forum (the Global Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy) in Dakar, Senegal.

RESSCAM is part of RAESS, the African ESS network created in 2010, which is in turn the continental member of RIPESS, the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the ESS. RIPESS is present throughout the world, has more than 4000 entities and has been active for more than 25 years. The executive secretary at the intercontinental level, Sandra Moreno, will be present at the RESSCAM event in Yaoundé.

The ESS is presented by its practitioners as a driver of change for key players in the development of local industries and the protection of people and the environment. Cooperatives and other ESS structures, particularly in regions where there are no private or public actors, play an essential role in the provision of essential services such as health, education, access to drinking water, sanitation and access to markets. They also help to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly among women and young people, to develop value chains, to create decent jobs and to put in place social protection mechanisms. Present in a multitude of sectors, from agriculture to textiles, including forestry, finance, social services and tourism, ESS cooperatives and structures embody an alternative economic model based on solidarity, inclusion and sustainability.

To learn more about these realities, biochemist and marketer METCHUM TAYOU will begin the session by speaking about the structuring of ESS actors in the fishing sector in Cameroon. A case study, “Ndema La Sue”, “From fillet to plate”.

She will be followed by Mr. Denis AWOH NDANG – Mayor of Fundong, Boyo Department, North-West Region of Cameroon and Vice-President of the Network of Mayors of Cameroon for the Social and Solidarity Economy (REMCESS), who will present the project ESS, resilience in a crisis context: innovative project of a wood processing cooperative for the supply of electricity from wood in the North-West of Cameroon.

Then, the craftswoman and president of the “Artisan au Féminin” association, Hélène MAPOKO, will recount her experience of the creation and operation of an innovative wood craft center for the integration of vulnerable and disadvantaged women and girls.

Then it will be the turn of Cécile EBOBISSE, economist, gender-development evaluator and ESS activist. Deputy coordinator of the National Network of the Social and Solidarity Economy of Cameroon (RESSCAM) will continue with Import substitution as an engine of growth for actors of the social and solidarity economy.

Finally, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization will conclude on the essential theme of equality between men and women within the framework of inclusive and sustainable industrial development of the social and solidarity economy.

Here is the opening presentation of FORAESS, the African Forum for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the presence of the Cameroonian Minister of ESS and the President of RESSCAM, MEMONG MENO Epse MPOUNG, Elise Pierrette (in French).