As Director of BWC, my participation in Eco Village Design Education (EDE), has led to the full integration of the Ndanifor Permaculture Eco Village Project (NPE) Bafut, into the Global Eco Village Network GEN Africa.
Community builders training in Germany
At the EDE I was fully supported in designing NPE as a case study of GAIA theory application in Africa, adapted to local needs through Dragon Dreaming (brainstorming). This participatory planning process resulted in a design formulated in terms of cultural integration of elements for the valorization of GEN-Africa strategy in Cameroon and the Central African region. By basing the critical issues of development education in Africa on cultural values, NPE will go beyond western concepts onto transformation of indigenous knowledge into innovative mechanisms of sustainable development specific to the responsibilities of youth and agriculture.
The project falls in line with the Cameroon Governments National Participatory Development Program (NPDP) in its determination to meet up with the millennium development goals while pursuing its economy to emerge by 2035. This will be facilitated by GEN- Cameroon under registration supported by GEN-Europe to lay and implement Permaculture and cross/cultural exchanges geared towards empowering grassroots communities and local councils in their responsibilities so as to make them actors of their own development. NPE has thus been reinforced as a holistic approach in addressing the priority problems diagnosed in the Bafut council participatory development plan (Eco Village Vision 2020).
Focus areas Bafut and Bamenda
On the Bafut Council Platform, women’s farming groups are involved in every step in the project cycle, from identifying the issues and areas of concern through project design, implementation and learning from their challenges and achievements.
Women –centered community development is at the core of the eco village approach of sustainable development. In Bamenda, Better World Women’s empowerment agenda is emphasized in the courses offered. Better World staff is all graduate volunteers 80% women who do the important work in promoting social justice, non-formal education and human rights.
I take the opportunity to thank our National and International volunteers Mbah Sonita, Elke Cole and Clive Michael Justice who joined me as coordinators of the Permaculture and Eco village design advisory service in Cameroon. Through this capacity input, we have successfully implemented the first phase of mapping and launching the Permaculture Demo Site and given it visibility.
Partnership in the context of German-African Cooperation to me means an international network of community builders developing a new sustainable development paradigm that connects community initiators and leaders from Germany and Africa on a platform that supports practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and others who are interested in authentic community building work between Germany and Africa.
Konkankoh Joshua Ngwa is founder and director of Better World Cameroon