Buea, Cameroon:EoC, a "Proposal of Life"

About eighty people participated enthusiastically in the International Conference on EoC between 9-13th February.

by Steve William Azeumo

A Conference was organised at CUIB (Catholic University Institute of Buea) following 150209 13 Buea 06the request of its rector, Fr. George Nkeze and the bishop, Msgr. Emmanuel Bushu. Speakers included Benedetto Gui, currently a professor at Sophia University Institute (Florence, Italy) and Brice Kemguem, National Director for Central Africa in the international ngo named AHA (African Humanitarian Agency). They were accompanied by Steve William Azeumo, from the EoC Commission of the Central African area, Winnifred Nwafor, from the EoC Commission of Fontem, Cameroon, Isabel Awungnjia Atem and Mabih Nji, both graduates of the Sophia University Institute in the role of local facilitators at CUIB. 

The topics included in the programme have ranged from contemporary economic issues that are dear to the Social Doctrine of the Church and that we find in the values ​​and principles of the EoC, to the great economic and social problems of our time and the shortage of drinking water, epidemics and armed conflicts with weapons of mass destruction.

150209 13 Buea 05Thanks to the video conference connection, it was possible to get to know experiences from around the world. A connection made with the Sophia University Institute facilitated an exchange between the students of the two institutions. After that, two EoC entrepreneurs shared their experiences: Alberto Ferrucci, managing director of a company that produces software for refineries emphasized various aspects of an economy of sharing, a new proposal to solve the economic problems of our age. Teresa Ganzon (manager of the Philippine Rural Bank Bangko Kabayan) reminded participants of the principles of good corporate management that led her to resume her studies in adulthood in order to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to manage the bank, helping the increase of activity of ​​rural microfinance (micro-credit to farmers and small traders) in the area.

Some Cameroonian experiences were also shared, such as that of chief Fobella 150209 13 Buea 04Morfaw and his wife, who founded a school in the town of Dschang in 2003 which today consists of a kindergarten, primary and secondary schools; or that of the Civil Engineering Studio at BSE (Bridge Structure Engineering Consulting) that thanks to the great experience of a 'senior' partner has now got to the point of getting by and managing well in the midst of a very fierce competition. The studio benefited from the financial and moral support of the Gimou couple; in the days immediately preceding the school Mrs. Marie Madeleine Gimou left this earth and this has deeply moved the participants of the conference. Her husband M. Victor Gimou who has been an engineer for over 23 years continues to support the young studio and to offer access to his library collected throughout his more than 30 years of work.

150209 13 Buea 01An important part of the program was composed of the workshops in the afternoon, aimed to discuss cases of companies and to prepare projects of micro-enterprises: these had a high attendance and caused amazement because of the quality of the papers presented in the plenary sessions; the best EoC business plan was awarded in the concluding session.

If we want to make a small balance: we were treated to a very fruitful week, thanks to the preparatory work done by the University and the very positive attitude of the young people who volunteered to participate, also encouraged by a recognition of university credits in exchange. There was a very sympathetic register and a cheerful atmosphere throughout the conference: the intervals were often filled with fun activities, a little dance or music. The evening of celebration was simply breathtaking, with songs and dances organized by the young people, with that “little extra atmosphere” that 150209 13 Buea 03was created by the light of the phones, because there was a sudden blackout.

Participants had very positive impressions:  many of them admitted that, in addition to proposing a style of enterprise management, the EoC is also a “proposal of life” that you can put into practice immediately, and many declared they wanted to follow it. In short: a lot of positive vibes and desire to do and work for a better world.

See the video-gallery of the Conference

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