World Chambers Federation
Reinforcement of the links between ICC WCF and the network of Francophone Chambers (CPCCAF)
As part of its mission to reinforce chambers and strengthen their partnerships, the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) participated in the recent Consular Cooperation Workshops organized by the Permanent Conference of African and Francophone Consular Chambers (CPCCAF) in Nantes from 5-7 July 2011.
Hosted by the Chambres des Métiers des Pays de la Loire, Loire Regional Council and the Nantes City Hall, the 3-day programme gathered francophone chambers from Africa, Europe and Quebec. Through an extensive and in-depth series of technical workshops, participants discussed an array of subjects. They included internal chamber issues such as governance, management and human resources as well as the role of chambers in business information and training services.
Thanks to support from the Quebec Chamber of Commerce, chambers from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comores, Senegal and Congo, showcased their work together on financing mechanisms for entrepreneurs. Strategic issues on daily chamber operations – from training to communications – were also under the spotlight. Of particular importance was a workshop to address a chamber mandate programme undertaken by three chambers of agriculture in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. Assistance to help chambers in these domains was received from Pro€Invest, le Centre pour le Développement de l’Entreprise (Centre for development and enterprise) and l’Agence Française de Développement (French development agency).
The role of CPCCAF reflects the mission and work undertaken by WCF to help chambers fulfill their potential through strengthening their relationships, sharing best practices and developing services in response to their member companies’ needs. CPCCAF was founded in 1973. A member of the WCF Transnational Chambers Board, its mission is to contribute to the economic and trade development of the African private sector by facilitating cooperation between francophone chambers of commerce, from Africa, Europe and North America.
The workshops offered WCF a unique occasion to share ICC WCF initiatives with delegates and to acquaint them with a range of practical tools and services available to chambers to help them work with SMEs. They included, ATA Carnet (already operational in the CPCCAF member countries – Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia – contributing to the development of inter-African trade); technical help in the issuance of certificates of origin; and WCN business promotion services. ICC’s international advocacy role was also highlighted.
In addition, the broad range of experiences showcased in the CPCCAF workshops provided WCF with a valuable opportunity to learn of the challenges faced by African chambers, and provided a set of new case studies and success stories from the region to share with chambers in other parts of the world.
Benin Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host the 37th General Assembly of CPCCAF in Cotonou, 3-4 November 2011.