Last August, a configuration session was held between RESSCAM (ESS Cameroon), member of the African Network of the Social Solidarity Economy (RAESS) and the Municipal Council of the commune of Galim. In the department of Bamboutos, in the Western region of Cameroon, in the presence of the mayor himself, Mr. TSHOUONGANG Elie Saker.

In Cameroon, there is a framework law on the Social and Solidarity Economy; its implementing decree defines the Local Social  Solidarity Economy Network (RELESS), for example, in the region of Batchenga. The aim of this network is to create coherence within a municipality between a group of Social and Solidarity Economy organisations and enterprises from different backgrounds in order to defend their collective interests, circulate information, coordinate, mobilise around local issues, exchange experiences and know-how, transfer knowledge, and share production and training tools. Thus, each of Cameroon’s 360 municipalities is obliged to have a RELESS.

The steps to set up a RELESS are :

  • Mapping of OESS/UESS; a tool that makes it possible to list all the Organisations and Units of the Social and Solidarity Economy existing in the territory of the commune, classifying them by category and facilitating their spatial visualisation. Ideally, it is presented as a map, but it can also be presented as a table, which is currently available.
  • Support for legalisation of informal or embryonic organisations
  • Capacity building of OESS/UESS leaders.
  • Structuring by network.
  • Election of a RELESS Local Bureau.

The implementation of RELESS requires the support of the mayor, who facilitates the mobilisation of the OESS/UESS in his municipality and can provide various supports in the process. In the case of Galim, the Municipal Council has adhered to the project of creating RELESS. The City Council already has a map of the OESS/UESS that will be updated by the Municipal Councillors and the process will continue throughout November 2022. A plan will be made for their effective functioning from January 2023.

Once a critical mass of RELESS has been structured, they will converge into Regional Networks (RERESS) at the level of the ten regions of Cameroon and finally into a National Network (RENESS). Indeed, the application of the approach presented for the implementation of RELESS is a conception of RESSCAM that is concerned with the effectiveness and sustainability of the RELESS it implements.

Cameroon as an example of collective work between formal institutions and networks of civil society and SSE practitioners.

Ripess, thanks to RAESS and our representative, Elise Pierrette MEMONG MENO Epse MPOUNG, is present in these transformative processes.