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PRACTICAL INFORMATION GUIDELINE

This item is made up of useful information for the understanding and the development of civil society organisations in Cameroon.

Articles and Commentaries

Outline on CSO in Cameroon.

Legally speaking we have 8 types of civil society organisations in Cameroon.

1-Non-profit-making associations governed by the law n° 90/053 of December 19th 1990;

2-Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) governed by the law n° 99/014 of December 22nd 1999 related to organisations.

3-Cooperatives and Common Initiative Groups (CIP) governed by the law n° 92/006 of August 14th 1992 related to societies, cooperatives and common initiative groups;

4-Religious organisations governed by the law n° 90/053 of December 19th 1990 related to freedom association.

5-Friendly societies governed by the law n° 93/015 of December 22nd 1993;

6-Sport associations governed by the law n° 96/09 of August 5th 1996 setting the physical and sports activities charter.

7-Private Sector Trade Union governed by the law n° 92/07 of August 14th 1992 bearing Labour Code.

8-Public Sector Trade Union governed by the law n° 68/LF/19 of November 1968 related to trade unions associations non-governed by the labour code.

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Generally speaking one distinguishes civil society organisations considering their domain of activities and their size. But it should be very difficult to record them all since they are created and dissolved everyday.

Associations exist in Cameroon even before the legal frame. Cultural associations are part of the national heritage. Cameroonian non state actors started launching social welfare enterprises. Cameroonian non state actors started launching social welfare enterprises at the end of the 6th and last five years plan of the cultural, economic and social development of Cameroon and the new Structural Adjustment Programme applied par the World Bank and justified by the economic crisis,.
It is in the nineties that various associations, encouraged by the legal frame in force have increased in number.
The fall in the standard of life and the drop of raw materials crops in the nineties has led to the emergence of associative movement in Cameroon. Many sample surveys and investigations carried out on that issue revealed that amongst the reasons leading to the creation of associations were the fight against poverty, educational and health issues.
The civil society plays an important social and economic role even though there are not reliable data base on that role. Quantitative data on the civil society are not really available and up dated.

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The idea of Youth in Cameroon

In Cameroon, considering its size, youth represents the majority of the population. According to the Poverty Reduction Strategic Paper elaborated in 2003, Cameroon youth (less than 35 years of age) represents more than 72°/° of the population.
In the National Youth Policy adopted on October 7th 2006 at the congress hall, the legal age of youth is situated between 15 and 35 years. The government thereby decided to consider youth people less than 35 years.

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It’s to note that the National Youth Policy is connected to the African Youth Charter adopted in 2006 at Addis-Abeba in Ethiopia fixing the African youth age between 15 and 35 years.
To convince on their choice, delegates present in Addis-Abeba and those meeting in Yaoundé claimed to have taken in consideration the years nineties when the economic crisis kept Africans stated to respect their commitments vis-à-vis of young people. So it is not to forget that sacrificed category of the population that delegates at the Addis-Abeba meeting took that legal age limit to 35 years.
When we talk of youth association, we should consider association whose leaders and members are between 15 and 35.

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The Youth Policy in the State of Cameroon

Many recommendations of the United Nations Organisation –UNO- (Youth World Action Programme), the African Union (African Youth Charter, 5th Africa Development Forum) and other multilateral institutions recommend that the youth aspirations should be better taken into consideration in different development programmes and in the decision making process, for that social category is the most important of the population.

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In Cameroon at the national level, youth is a real concern of the government. That preoccupation appears in many achievements in favour of youth during recent years. In this regard the creation of a whole Ministry of Youth Affairs in December 8th 2004 specially in charge of youth issues testify the public power willing to reinforce the management of that very susceptible population category.
The article 23 of the decree n°2004/320 of December 8th 2004 creates the Ministry of Youth Affairs. One of its main missions was the coordination of action and the follow up of youth associations and movements in Cameroon.
To implement this mission, the Ministry of Youth Affairs has set up and validated in 2006 the National Youth Policy. One of its priorities was promoting the youth participation in decision making through the Cameroon National Youth Council which is one of the main high preoccupation of the state. To make it sure, we have the high prescription of the Head of State in his February 10th 2007 address to youth, in which he instructed the speeding up of the process putting in place of the CNYC. It is for this reason that the Minister of Youth Affairs has set up in may 2006 a Pilot Comity in charge of implementing this presidential instruction on the strategic youth organ.
The first step of the Pilot Comity was the definition of the type of National Youth Council that young Cameroonians would like to choose amongst three types:

1-Exclusive initiative of youth organisations and students movements (Belgium, Turkey, Greece, Sweden)

2-Exclusive initiative of the State (France, Zambia, Costa Rica, Philippines),

3-Joined initiative of both State and youth organisations (Lithuania, Côte-d’Ivoire)

In the course of the first session of the Pilot Comity and following the presentation of different types of youth councils above-mentioned by Mr Selema Akedjol, Director of Associative Life and Leisure at the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the youth of Cameroon largely choose the third type that brings together youth organisations and the State.
Just to remind that the National Youth Council plays the role of a platform of youth organisations and movements. Its purpose being to favour the full and effective participation of the youth in the social life and in the decision making process.
Its goal is the promotion and the welfare of youth through a consultative, proactive and representative besides national and international institutions on issues related to youth.

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Notions on Sustainable Development

The sustainable development is a kind of economic development which is based on the will to conciliate social and economic progress with the preservation of the environment considered as the heritage of the future generations.
The expression “sustainable development” comes from anglo-xason world. It appears for the first time in 1980 in the world conservation strategy a publication of the International Union Nature Conservation (UICN).

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The principle of sustainable development consists in carrying out activities taking in consideration short, medium and long term impacts on environment, social conditions and ethics alike.
This concept is also based on the necessity to preserve resources for future generations by maintaining growth objectives. The renewable resources market and the equitable and fair trade are amongst other the main activities of sustainable development.
Today around the world and following threats such as climate changes, more and more companies are for sustainable development by putting an interest notably on supply resources in raw materials and packaging ( cultivation conditions, working conditions of wage earner), resources management (water and energy), waste management….
The sustainable development is a widely shared concept in the world. To contribute for it we should follow these steps:

  • Maintain the environment integrity to assure health to human communities and security and preserve the ecosystems.
  • Assure social equity in order to favour the full welfare of the populations, the well-being of communities and the respect of the diversity.
  • Look for economic efficiency in order to create innovative and prosperous economy, socially and ecologically responsible.

Diagram of a Sustainable Development

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Structuring documents and legal counselling (in French)

Report of the Seminar on the theme: “Reinforcement of managing capacities of youth associations and movements of Yaoundé” September 2007 (with the law n°053/90 of December 19th 1990 related to collective freedom…….)

Guideline for the understanding and application of the legislation on Common Initiative Groups (CIG)-law n°92/006 of November 23rd 1992.

Cameroon cultural policy

Law n° 99/014 of December 22nd 1999 governing Non Governmental Organisations.

Interview of Charlotte BIKA, Delegate of CIG RAVED (Sustainable and steady Agricultural Relaunch), owner of a poultry farm at Emombo quarter-Yaoundé
By Syjedec.

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Syjedec: Good morning Madam. We are not used to seeing a woman running a poultry farm as you are doing today. What really makes you take that decision?

Charlotte BIKA: First of all, there’s that issue of unemployment, then that of low opportunities in the domain of self-employment. And you also know that unemployment is a real harm, a gangrene in our society today. As consequences of this unemployment, you have for instance: idleness, depression, debauchery…which lead to the destruction of individuals. Fortunately, the actual government is more and more willing to seek for ways and means to solve this youth unemployment problem. It is in this way that we have many governmental structures and programmes that grant training and finance to people who ask for in Cameroon. I am only one of the beneficiaries of those governmental programmes.

Syjedec: What motivated you to invest yourself in poultry farming?

You know, you had to make the first step, to start somewhere. And this was due to my critical situation made up of poverty and unemployment. I was really below the poverty threshold and I could easily spend whole months without touching a coin of 100 F Cfa. For me, owning 500 F Cfa was a challenge. Before this project, it was long that I did not get 10 000 F Cfa. Before I undertook in poultry farming, the first project I wanted to launch was cassava cultivation and transformation. But due to the short time allowed for subvention tender, I opted for a poultry farming which could generate incomes. It was not so easy because of a very difficult environment (family and CIG members) which doesn’t really encourage me to go ahead. That’s the reason why the leader is always alone to face his projects and ambitions at the beginning. You need enough tenacity to succeed.

Syjedec: After this first experience, do you thing the outcome was satisfactory?

As far as I am concerned, I think that when you have your head on your shoulders, you must know that money is just a mean, a facilitator. What is more rewarding is the experience and the increase in value in terms of knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and lessons you acquired after this.

Syjedec: What are the main difficulties you face when running your poultry farm.

The first difficulty is swindling. When you are a probationer in a domain, you are exposed to being swindled or abused. The second problem is that of finding a viable land for exploitation. The third difficulty is that of appropriate materials and tools which are still very expensive. There are difficulties to supply mostly food. Furthermore, the price of chick is still very high and you can get bad quality.
The practice and the use of archaic methods, the lack of appropriate tools makes the yield is seriously reduced. Vaccines and other sanitary inputs are also very expensive.
For me, aviculture is like many other activities. Every activity has part of risks when you do not apply the basic notions and respect the notice. Poultry farming needs experience, determination, patience, hard working, punctuality (wake up early, give treatment at the allowed time at the period and age prescribed without overdose), cleanliness, attention, affection and responsibility.

Syjedec: Do the outcomes encourage you to pursue the activity? If yes, what innovations are planning to bring in?

Of course, I’m planning to extend my poultry farm after the sale of the first production. I also envisage producing maize, soy, and groundnuts on 3 hectares of land and I will also produce fodder that I will use. At short term, I would like to open an enterprise which produce fodder and also become a producer of parental and laying hen.

Syjedec: What can you advise to young people who want to undertake in farming poultry?

I will tell them to be conscious of the current situation and that private entrepreneurship provides many employment opportunities. Aviculture is a yielding activity in Cameroon. To finish, you should wake up early, act and willing to learn from those who are already settled without any complex.
Interview realised on December 19th 2009 in Yaoundé.

Charlotte BIKA exhibiting the products from her poultry farm.
The CIG RAVED Delegate in action.

update: 04.20.10 - 13:27

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