CREDIT UNION HISTORY IN CAMEROUN

The idea of the credit union came to Cameroon through Rev. Father Anthony Jansen, a Roman Catholic Priest from Holland.

Fr. Anthony Jansen found out that the Njinikom People had some thrift and loan societies that charged very high interest rates. He also found difficulties in the collection of fees. Students and people sometimes came to him for money for hospital bills and other needs.  This influenced him to establish the St. Anthony Discussion Group Njinikom in September 1963 which was registered in May 1964 as Njinikom Credit Union.

In 1965, Fr. Edwin Anthony Barnicle (an American) was sent to work in St. Augustine’s College Nso and he took up Parish work in Kikiakelaki village. He saw the challenges the people had and started discussion on the credit union idea with the people of Kikaikelaki. In October 1965, the Kikaikelaki cooperative credit union was born.

When Fr. Barnicle started the Kikaikelaki Credit Union, he was largely assisted by Mr. Michael T. Banseka, who was the headmaster of Catholic School Kikaikelaki. M. T. Banseka and Fr. Nielen helped in the formation of Kimbo and Kitiwum credit unions in 1966 and Banseka continued to serve as promoter of the credit union idea in Nso when Fr. Barnicle was transferred to St Bede’s College Ashing in 1966.

While in Ashing, Fr. Barnicle assisted the Njinikom credit union and extended the credit union idea to other villages in Kom. He then spread the idea to other parts of the North West Province with the assistance of the officers of the Cooperative Department and some Rev. Fathers.

Fr. Barnicle was interested in ensuring the progress and the management of the existing credit unions, so he obtained aid through the US Ambassador in Cameroon to help put in place the accounting system and other infrastructure for the credit unions. Fr. Barnicle published the West Cameroon Credit Union Manual, which was first credit union booklet for Cameroon. On January 14, 1967, a meeting was held with Mr. S. S. Shang, (Registrar of Cooperatives) and other officials to discuss among others the creation of a League.

In August 1968, Mr. S. S. Shang chaired a coordinating committee which met for three days in Our Lady of Lourdes College, Bamenda, and drafted the byelaws of the League and the credit unions with the aid of those from Tanganyika, Canada and the United States of America.

On September 4, 1968, the West Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League was inaugurated in Mankon Community Hall with Mr. Mukong Benedict N. of Babanki Tungo as first elected president and Mr. Fonka Lawrence Shang of Kimbo as Vice President. M. T. Banseka became the first Manager. Delegates from the following Credit Unions attended this inaugural meeting:

  • Njinikom
  • Kikaikelaki
  • Liywantse-Tatum
  • Shisong
  • Kitiwum
  • Kimbo
  • Bafut
  • Fuanantui
  • Ashing
  • Bambui
  • Mbiame
  • Sob
  • Nkar
  • Belo
  • Boyui
  • Big Babanki
  • Babanki Tungoh
  • Awing
  • Guzang
  • Bambili
  • Nkwen
  • Bamessing
  • Bangolan
  • Aziri
  • Kuflu
  • Ngondzen
  • Meluf
  • Tabenken
  • Nkambe
  • La Nyuy – SAC
  • Shiy
  • Mbam
  • Jakiri
  • Batibo

These thirty-four (34) registered Credit Unions were grouped into three chapters corresponding to the three areas of operation: Bamenda/Ndop, Kom and Nso/Nkambe divisions.

In 1967, Rev. Sr. Osmond who was a teacher in St. Francis College Kumba carried the credit union idea to the South West Province and helped organized Four Discussion groups: Kumba Town, Tombel, Kumba Police and Metta Quarters. In April 1969, Kumba Town Credit Union was registered, the first in the South West Province.

The first league office was in Kumbo but with the spread of the credit union idea to the South West province the need for a centralized office prompted the decision of the league general assembly to move the league office to Bamenda.

During the Annual General Meeting of 31 March 1973, the name “West Cameroon Credit Union League” (WCCUL) was changed to “Cameroon Cooperative Credit Union League Limited” (CamCCUL Ltd.). This change was necessitated by the political changes within this period. Following the new cooperative law of 1973, the Annual General Meeting approved the new League byelaws and the model credit union byelaws.

CamCCUL started expansion into Littoral and West Provinces in April 1974. CamCCUL sent Netherlands Volunteers to Littoral and West Provinces. They were stationed in Douala, Loum and Bafoussam, respectively.

The following have served as Managers/General Managers and Presidents in CamCCUL

 

Presidents

  • Benedict Mukong
  • Fusi Naamukong
  • Njoh Ikome Gabriel
  • Ngabir Paul Bantar
  • Balick Awa Fidelis
  • Musa Shey Nfor

Managers/General Managers

  • Michael Tah Banseka
  • Abraham Ndofor
  • Shey Denis Maimo
  • Fonchin Jonathan Ngwa
  • Niba Tafor Fidelis
  • Arou Christine Tanyi
  • Tatang Emmanuel
  • Tientchou Jonas