Over the last four years the Mount Oku Community in the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon has experienced serious socioeconomic hardship due to the escalation of an armed civil conflict and more recently COVID-19. The community previously depended on farming, ecotourism and other activities, but due to the crisis many activities in the community mostly run by men – such as forest regeneration and bee planting – have come to a standstill.
The Mount Oku Centre for Gender and Socioeconomic Empowerment (MOCGSE) was initiated by women to empower women and girls so as to ensure the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Oku community, by leveraging their knowledge and skills.
The centre will serve as a platform to market food and household items locally produced by women, as well as for self-help microfinance services. Key activities will involve training and community investment activities such as bee farming, forest regeneration and medicinal plant processing. In five years it will become a registered women’s cooperative.