Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
I pioneered the creation of the North West Association of Development Organisations (NWADO) in 2004, an umbrella organisation of over 120 not-for-profit organisations in Cameroon. After four years, the organisation was at a crossroads in search of new orientations to meet the member’s expectations. Through a rigorous process of needs identification and prioritisation, I led a team to develop programmes and packages that responded to these needs. One of the things I brought on board was the notion of facilitating the process of the organisation evolving into a social enterprise. Members quickly saw the importance of having a joint conference space rented on fee to members, provision of paid services to members including photocopying and internet, with profits generated used to help the network in its outreach activities and sustaining its operations. Though work was slow and results difficult to achieve that I was dealing with many civil society leaders with diverse organisational interests, I did not lose patience but continued to persevere in this endeavour given that yielded fruits at the end.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
I have contacted colleagues in Tanzanian Meteorological Organisation in East Africa and the Zambian College of Agriculture working in the same area and we are comparing tools and processes. We are currently using a harmonised tool to harness the local indigenous knowledge and practices and we anticipate publishing a comparative study on the thematic area by the end of 2015. In addition we are working with Dr. Karen McNamara, of the Department of Environment and Geography of the University of Queensland, an authority, working on indigenous knowledge practices on climate change in Australia and the Pacific.
The Australian Government through the Australia Awards Small Grant scheme is supporting us through these processes and we are benefiting from the support of the Australia Awards tea in this project.