Partnership between the PCC and FAO regional office for Central Africa,The PCC on the field to visit the Capacity Building Project of the Platform of farmers' Organisations of Central Africa (PROPAC)

The Subregional Office for Central Africa of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has commissioned the PCC to carry out certain activities under the Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) No. 3502, entitled "Strengthening the capacities of the platform of  farmers' Organizations of Central Africa (PROPAC)". The activities of this project to be executed by the PCC include the following:

    Assist the National Project Coordinator in the coordination and monitoring of project activities;
    Conduct the institutional and organizational audit of PROPAC and propose guidelines for the preparation of the manual of procedures;
    Formulate regional orientations on the main aspects of governance based on the results of the institutional diagnosis of producers' organizations (POs) of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Burundi and the orientations on the key aspects of governance and the alignment of national laws;
    Define the main axes of reflection (themes) that will be discussed at the regional workshop and design appropriate teaching modules and tools for the achievement of the proposed training programmes;
    Define the axes of reflection (themes) to be discussed during the national workshops in collaboration with the national consultants of PROPAC;
    Assist PROPAC in the development and implementation of its strategic action plan and business plan;
    Provide the necessary support to the organization and holding of the regional training workshop.
In addition to the assistance provided to the national coordination for monitoring the activities which is an ongoing activity, achieving the institutional and organizational audit stands out as a prerequisite for the implementation of the other activities. To do this, the PCC has positioned this activity in the forefront of the implementation timetable of its technical assistance.

The objective of this institutional and organizational audit mission to PROPAC is to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the PROPAC management system in relation to the opportunities and threats of its institutional environment in order to identify the main orientations of actions for improving its performance.
To achieve this goal, a mission of the PCC comprising Messrs Ibrahima Ndour, Executive Secretary of the PCC, Gabriel GBEDJISSOKPA, Director of Programmes and Projects in the PCC and Lazare Djoumbi SEMA, PCC Consultant conducted during the period from August to September 2015, a mission to PROPAC and to four of its National Consultation forums of farmers' Organisations, including those of Cameroon, Burundi, Gabon and Guinea. The mission held discussions with the governing bodies of these organizations, the technical staff (where they exist), some grassroot POs and their institutional and technical partners. These discussions and the study of the available documentation enabled the mission to identify the key strengths and constraints to the development of these institutions.
At the end of this first stage of the organizational and institutional audit of PROPAC, the PCC sincerely thanked the FAO for giving them the opportunity to understand the organization and operation of this network, its relations with the various partner institutions or potential partners.  
Since its creation in 2005, PROPAC has acquired a lot of experience and maturity. It may become an essential community institution in supporting the development of grassroot agricultural cooperatives. For more efficiency on the field, PROPAC and its member national structures must restructure some of their functions and develop appropriate strategies to enhance the impact of their interventions.


The next phase of the support from the service provider should take into consideration the key elements of the diagnosis carried out and target the implementation of the main orientations proposed at the end of this mission.

 

The PCC attends the Conference of Stakeholders of SME and Handicraft sectors of Cameroon

Following the invitation of the Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts (MINPEMEESA) of Cameroon, Professor Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa, a PCC delegation comprising Mr. Jean BIMINGO, Director of the Centre for Supportive Counselling to PCC member countries  (CAC) and Guy Tatou, Liaison , Communication and Internal Control Officer at the PCC, attended the Conference of Stakeholders of the SME and Handicraft sectors at the Yaounde Conference Centre from Wednesday 08 to Friday 10 April  2015.
The deliberations during the conference focused on two main areas:
Public development policies and actions of the various stakeholders of the supervisory chain of SMEs and handicrafts;

The programme budget focused on results-based management.
It should be noted that during this conference, several interesting points were discussed and the PCC expressed the voice of the cooperatives. We can particularly remember:

1.    The existence of a business incubation programme in the employment professionalisation process at the Ministry of Higher Education, the University of Dschang, the Sahel Institute of Maroua and in rural enterprises in the Ministry of agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER).

2.    As part of the promotion of SMEs and the single window approach, it is now possible to create an SME in 72 hours. The case of cooperative societies raised by the PCC shall be considered in the light of the foregoing.
For more information about the creation of SMEs, the Conference recommends the website www.e-regulation.org


After the conference, the PCC delegation has planned to take steps such as those previously followed with other partners in order to reach an agreement between the PCC and the Ministry of Higher Education in the framework of the programme of professionalization of teaching. This will offer the opportunity for the PCC to sell the idea of cooperative enterprise incubators in the universities and colleges such as the Faculty of Agronomy of Dschang (FASA), the Sahel Higher Institute, the Yaounde Polytechnic School, etc.  

Establishment of a partnership between Africa Femmes Performantes (AFP) or Successful African Women and the PCC

The partnership agreement was signed on Monday, 9 February 2015 at the PCC headquarters.  The Successful African Women (AFP) is a global association of women entrepreneurs of Africa and its diaspora.

This agreement that was signed by the AFP represented by its President, Patricia SEKE, on the one hand and Ibrahima NDOUR representing the PCC on the other hand governs the partnership agreements whose implementation has kicked off with the support provided by the PCC to AFP to develop and adopt its Minimum Programme to Launch and Develop the Savings, Credit and Investment Cooperative Society for the Women of Africa and of the Diaspora (Pro.MLD/COOPEC-IFAD) headquartered in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mandate of the PCC is to make its expertise available to AFP.

Immediate activities of the PCC in favour of the AFP included the following:

-    Conducting a summary diagnostic of the AFP network and of COOPEC-IFAD
-    Preparing the Minimum Programme to Launch and Develop the Savings, Credit and Investment Cooperative for the Women of Africa and of the Diaspora and enabling the Programme to be adopted in a restricted technical workshop in Kinshasa.
-    Ensuring adoption of the Minimum Programme to Launch and Develop the Savings, Credit and Investment Cooperative for the Women of Africa and of the Diaspora.


This agreement that was signed for a three-year period will be renewed by tacit agreement.

COOPERATIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP The PCC trains Trainers on the OHADA Uniform Act This three-day workshop held in Mbalmayo, Cameroon from 11 to 13 December 2014

The main aim of this workshop was to facilitate the understanding, ownership and especially the implementation of the OHADA Uniform Act on the right of cooperative societies. The second Pan-African training of trainers workshop for stakeholders of cooperative entrepreneurship organized by the Pan African Cooperative Conference (PCC) in Mbalmayo, Cameroon, for three days (11 to 13 December) brought together foreigners, senior officials of the Cameroon administration, and representatives of international organizations who were trained by PCC experts.

Sub-themes that were developed through an adult education approach included "the fight against poverty and self-employment'', ''the African cooperative movement and the cooperative enterprise''. The adopted approach that was characterized by the mainstreaming of prerequisites, awakening activities and discussions during practical work sessions rather facilitated the assimilation of the content of the various presentations, as confirmed by Lontchi Charles, Research Engineer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) of Cameroon and participant: "At the time we are rounding up this workshop, my impressions are very good because I have mastered the content of the OHADA Uniform Act. I believe that the knowledge gained during the seminar will be used to enable the farmers to better understand what a cooperative society is, the basis on which it is created, how it works and how it is organized. This will result in improved functioning of future cooperative societies created in Cameroon".
Of course, the PCC is precisely seeking ways and means to achieve better functioning of cooperative societies in Africa in keeping with the legal provisions of the OHADA Act in force. It should be recalled that the PCC is a bipartisan pan-African organization comprising twenty states and their cooperative movements. Its primary mission is to support member countries in the development and implementation of cooperative policies and programmes. As of today, the achievements of the PCC include the establishment of the African University of Cooperative Development (UADC) based in Cotonou, Benin as well as the adoption by the Council of Ministers in 2010 of the above-mentioned OHADA Uniform Act initiated by the PCC whose Executive Secretariat is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. To this we can add the Pan African Action Plan on Cooperative Development drawn up by the PCC and approved by the United Nations in 2012 at the closing ceremony of the International Year of Cooperatives.
The next two workshops will be held in Gabon and in the DRC in March and May 2015.
              

A PCC exploratory and fact-finding mission to Germany to develop partnerships

A PCC delegation composed of Mr. Jean BIMINGO, Director of the Centre for Supportive Counselling to PCC member countries (CAC) and Mr. GBEDJISSOKPA Gabriel, Director of Programmes and Projects in the PCC, went to Germany to take part in the 2014 Conference of INAISE (International Association of Investors in the Social Economy) on the theme "Mobilizing social finance globally - Learning from each other". This mission allowed the PCC to acquire a deeper knowledge of the International Association of Investors in the Social Economy.  
A total of 105 participants took part in this Conference from sixty structures.

The PCC was mandated to develop a programme on renewable energies to mitigate the rampant power cuts on the continent. The PCC has proposed the solar energy as one of the renewable energy options. Africa is a continent with abundant sunshine. The issue here is not so much the financial resources, but rather the organization. The challenge is the development of solar energy and the cooperative solution seems the most appropriate for the pooling of efforts to achieve an affordable cost.

The PCC that was designated at the conference as observer will build on the  African cooperative experience. For its part, INAISE will strengthen its presence in Africa. The two partners may use the 16th PCC to this effect on the one hand, and the PCC may host the 2016 or 2017 INAISE Annual General Assembly. Everything can be negotiated. Themes that may be retained include the problems of access of women and young people to land to strengthen food security, access to new technologies, to credit, etc. In short, it is question of showing what the cooperative can contribute to solve such difficulties.

 

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