How to Create or Start an NGO in Cameroon Legally (Foundation). Organize all registration documents of the NGO. Benefits of Registering a Foundation
Starting an NGO in Cameroon or a foundation requires legal procedures to be followed.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) or Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) are non-profit, voluntary citizen's groups organized for a common interest. NGOs perform various services and humanitarian functions under the Cameroon Law No 99/014 of 22nd December 1999 and Law No 90/053 of 19th December 1990 on the freedom of Association.
They are organized around unique issues, such as human rights, health care, child rights, charity, etc. They are usually funded by donations and are run primarily by volunteers. They do not pay taxes in Cameroon. CSOs and NGOs are governed and managed by a Board of Trustees. These are the equivalent of what a director/shareholder would be in an incorporated company.
The Trustees of NGO and CSO are responsible for the management and direction of the Association. Here is a comprehensive guide to read when registering a Non-Governmental Organization in Cameroon.
How to Create or Start an NGO in Cameroon Legally (Foundation)
To create, register, or start an NGO in Cameroon legally, do the following:
- Devise a plan for the NGO
- Select your NGO name
- Appoint the Board of Trustee(s)
- Consult an Accredited Solicitor
- Draft the Constitution of the Association
- Draft the Minutes of the Meeting
- Organize all registration documents of the NGO
- Submission and Filing
- Collect the Association's Certificate of registration.
- Open a Bank Account in the Name of the Association
- Start the NGO or foundation in Cameroon
1. Devise a plan for the NGO
Write about your organization's beliefs, mission, and purpose. As you define your mission and draft your purpose statement, you should describe the overall aim of the Association; the activities your Association will engage in or undertake; the core beliefs of the Association.
2. Select your NGO name.
To register an NGO in Cameroon, you must select an NGO name like "More Youths for Positive Change," "Intelligent Minds Educational Foundation," "Dream Winners Football Club, etc.
3. Appoint the Board of Trustee(s)
A person qualified to be appointed as Trustee must not be less than 18 years of age, unsound mind, undischarged bankrupt, or convicted of an offense involving fraud or dishonesty within 5 years of his proposed appointment.
4. Consult an Accredited Solicitor
A Solicitor who has been duly accredited to help execute the following:
5. Draft the Constitution of the Association
In registering a Non-Governmental Organization in Cameroon, the Association's Constitution should be drafted by a Solicitor who will set out the rules that would govern the internal affairs of the Association, the aims and objectives of the Association, the governance structure, names of members of the Board of Trustees, the statement of purpose, etc.
6. Draft the Minutes of the Meeting
Your solicitor will draft the minute of the meeting that will provide details at which members of the Board of Trustees were appointed, a list of members present and absent, the voting pattern, and the authorization to apply for registration, signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Board.
Your solicitor will draft the minutes of the meeting at which the particular clause was adopted into the organization's constitution, signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Board.
7. Organize all registration documents of the NGO
Your solicitor will put together all documents to Register an NGO, including duly completed application form in triplicate, letter of application, copies of the Association constitution so drafted, the above minutes of the meetings, passport-sized photographs of the Trustees, the impression of the common seal of the Association, etc.
8. Submission and Filing.
Your solicitor will file all the relevant documents with the administrative officers for registration.
9. Collect the Association's Certificate of registration.
The Certificate of registration of the Association will be issued by the most senior administrative officer of the region of operation to you through your Accredited Solicitor after due documentation and filings.
10. Open a Bank Account in the Name of the Association
This is very important because opening a bank account in the Association's name shows that your Association is official. You are ready to obtain financial support from the Public and receive a donation.
11. Start the NGO or foundation in Cameroon
Note that your created Association will not automatically gain a Non-Governmental Organization(NGO) status upon registration.
The Association is expected to make donations, take pictures during activities carried out or organized by the Association, or hold seminars. Furthermore, you should register your Association's details in a visitor's book of every orphanage or school you visit. This can only be possible after three years of active operation.
Benefits of Registering an NGO or Foundation in Cameroon
Registering a foundation or a Non-Governmental Organization in Cameroon provides some benefits as follows:
- Registration of an NGO provides proof of responsibility.
- It has an unlimited lifespan,
- NGOs or foundations provide the ability to buy land in Cameroon.
- It has access to credit in banks or financial institutions.
- The name of the NGO or foundation is protected.
Registering your foundation or NGO in Cameroon effectively increases numerous benefits for sustainability and growth. Also, starting your NGO or foundation using the appropriate legal steps is an excellent move as it will ensure minimal costs.