Co-operators come together in Cape Town

30 Oct 2013

This week over a thousand co-operators are set to come together in Cape Town to help progress the Co-operative Decade.

The International Co-operative Alliance's Global Conference and General Assembly starts from 1 November, with the biennial meeting of ICMIF (International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation) taking place from 6 November.

The Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade plays a part in both conferences, which will see the sector aiming for co-operatives to be the fastest growing enterprise model by 2020.

At the ICA conference there will be five thematic sessions running concurrently dealing with food security, access to community services, the power of communication, finance and building knowledge.

ICMIF will also discuss its contribution to the fulfilment of the Blueprint, in a session led by Chief Executive Shaun Tarbuck with a panel of mutual insurance leaders.

Dame Pauline Green, President of the Alliance, said: “This week is about the future, about recommitting ourselves to growing the co-operative family of enterprises. With the current lacklustre performance of the global economy, it is the right time to pursue the campaign to put co-operatives on the  agenda of global decision-makers as they seek answers to the effects of recession.

“A recession that even now is dampening the vigour of just those emerging economies which, it had hoped, would be the catalyst for future success. This week the International Co-operative Alliance will reveal its first steps to drive forward the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade; give members a real opportunity to look at how we can support the growth of a vibrant co-operative economy across Africa, particularly in finance and agriculture; offer time and opportunity for discussion, networking, sharing best practice and, of course, the chance to do co-op to co-op business.”

In speaking to the insurance sector, Mr Tarbuck said: “In Cape Town, we intend to raise the bar once again. The theme of the last conference was ‘It’s Our Time…’; a phrase that has been extensively used in communications across the whole cooperative business world. For 2013, our conference theme is ‘Lead… Innovate…Influence’.

“This is your time as mutual/co-operative insurance leaders to network with your peers; gain new insights and strategies; hear about business innovations and learn about ways to influence key stakeholders. ICMIF is a best practice organisation; continually striving to be the best and to drive our businesses and our sector forward. This is the conference where you will be inspired to continue being the best leaders in the insurance sector.”

• To keep up to date on the conference as it happens, visit:, which will feature live reports, video and images from Cape Town. To find out more about ICMIF, visit:


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