“Equipping social economy actors with managerial, entrepreneurial and financial skills so that they can fully play the role of catalysts for structural growth”. This was the substance of remarks by the Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts Achille BASSILEKIN III, at the opening of the workshop to build the Managerial, Entrepreneurial and Financial Capacities of Social Economy Actors, on 17 October 2022 at the Yaounde International Handicraft Centre. MINPMEESA urged actors to seize this opportunity because the economy is more practical and concrete. He recalled that this workshop is a caravan that has just been launched in the Centre and will be extended to the ten regions of the country.

The objective of this workshop is to consolidate the achievements of the Local Social Economy Networks (RELES) in order to contribute to the reduction of  poverty in Social Economy scope of intervention, by integrating men, women and the youth in profitable value chains. Specifically, the aim is to sustainably improve the management of Social Economy Units in order to improve the living and working conditions of small farmers; to increase the productivity, production and competitiveness of the products of Social Economy Units (SEU) of profitable sectors, and access to financing and equipment; to make innovative techniques and technologies available to Social Economy actors ; and to strengthen the entrepreneurial capacities of Social Economy actors.

It should be noted that the achievement of the development objectives of value chains and conventional sectors included in the NDS 30, requires that emphasis be placed on technical, financial and managerial support for Social Economy actors, the first link in the chain.  MINPMEESA intends to contribute to the Government’s efforts to increase productivity by increasing agro-industrial activities and modernising farms. The workshop to build the Managerial, Entrepreneurial and Financial Capacities of Social Economy Actors thus lays the groundwork for integrated and conclusive innovative approaches to the development of sectors aimed at promoting the intensification of innovative production and processing technologies; efficient contract farming and agribusiness practices; appropriate financing mechanisms and risk management associated with the agricultural production system.

According to Presidents of the Local Social Economy Networks of the South and Centre Regions, this workshop is timely and represents the realisation of the positive effects of the Framework bill on Social Economy in Cameroon. According to them, MINPMEESA continues to support social economy and this gap opened through this seminar will enable RELESS to assert themselves and to be more competitive and productive.

It should be recalled that the advent of Framework Law No. 2019/004 of 25 April 2019 governing Social Economy in Cameroon and its implementing texts confirm the political will to promote the Social Economy sector. This is a major step forward that marks the recognition and consecration of this type of entrepreneurship that can be defined as all economic activities carried out by organisations and enterprises based on principles of solidarity and participation, seeking the collective interest of their members and / or the economic and social interest of the community.

For its development and promotion, several actors are required to interact, at different levels of intervention, particularly through the definition of policies at the central level (State), the operationalisation of said policies at the local level and the implementation of bottom-up strategies by organisations. With the ongoing decentralisation process  in our country, Regional and Local Authorities are at the heart of the economic and social development of our country. As the SEU are community-based organisations found within these entities, they will have to carry the much-desired development with collective entrepreneurship as their secular arm.

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