9 January 2013

Cameroon: Fight Against Poverty - Retired, Unemployed Get New Platform

Retired workers and the unemployed will henceforth have a new platform for self-employment and wealth creation. By paying FCFA 203,000 into an account at BICEC, they become shareholders of RETRAISE 20-70 S.A. and can create businesses or jobs in return for dividends on their investments.

Presenting the innovative concept to pressmen in Yaounde yesterday, January 8, 2013, the promoters, led by former Culture Minister, Joseph-Marie Bipoun Woum, affirmed that the current unemployment situation in the country pushed them to proffer solutions to the problem. "All hands must be on deck to help the country put an end to the phenomenon of unemployment. This is one of such initiatives," he said.

The initiator of the concept, Pauline Noël Koe Amougou, said the rush observed during public competitive entrance examinations and the recent special recruitment of 25,000 certificate holders into the Civil Service attests to the preoccupying level of unemployment. "Even the private sector cannot resolve the issue, hence the need for a new approach which we are offering," she said.

According to Pauline Noël Koe Amougou, unlike other similar initiatives, subscribers to RETRAISE 20-70 S.A. aged between 20 and 70 years, will be shareholders and where their profiles permit, will be employees. Least of all, they will be owners and therefore employers. RETRAISE 20-70 will operate nationwide to set up labour-intensive companies in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. "This association will develop strategic areas where people have to work and dividends are paid. This is something out of government action," said veteran journalist, Peter Essoka, one of the promoters.

Responding to questions from the press about guarantees for transparency and accountability, one of the promoters, Charles Etoa Atangana, said each subscriber has the possibility to consult the company's bank account at anytime. "Shareholders will be managers, paid workers and there will be mechanisms for auditing," he said. For Martin Lobe Yanga, any unsatisfied shareholder can withdraw his contribution.

The promoters invited all Cameroonians to shun pessimism and emulate models that have succeeded, rather than focusing on initiatives that failed.

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