A programme established within the Pan-African Cooperative Conference (PCC) ten-year action plan is helping to create a local, affordable health service in the country, and provide jobs for recently qualified healthcare professionals.
The PCC met for the first time in Benin in 1967 at the initiative of the co-operatives, the states and trade unions, with the support of the Afro-American Labor Center (CAAT) and was attended by representatives from 11 African countries. Since then, the number of member countries has risen to 20. Its main objective is to promote co-operative entrepreneurship “as an alternative and efficient way of combating poverty in a political, economic, legal and regulatory environment which is conducive to the development of this type of entrepreneurship”.
As part of the ten-year Pan-African action plan for the development of co-operatives, the PCC obtained an audience with the Cameroon health minister, André Mama Fouda, to put forward proposals regarding co-operative healthcare clinics. Professor Owono, the director of care services, was appointed to be the PCC’s representative in order to “ensure that the Ministry has a complete understanding of the programme proposal”.
“The Minister was pleasantly surprised to discover that co-operatives could work in the healthcare sector and are not limited to the conventional sectors of microfinance and agriculture,” said a PCC spokesperson.
Agricultural co-operatives in Cameroon are highly developed, and achieving a similar level of development in other sectors – including healthcare – remains a major objective for the country.
To this end, an international seminar is planned under the title “The promotion of healthcare co-operatives in Africa: a strategy to achieve the third objective of the sustainable development agenda”. The third sustainable development goal is to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.
The next Pan-African Cooperative Conference takes place from 30-31 May 2016.