Over 130 participants met in Lesotho for the 3rd Leaders’ Forum for commissioners, registrars, directors and managers of co-operatives. The forum looked at the contribution of co-operative enterprises to national economies, with a specific focus on the importance of statistics.
The event brought together representatives from Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Korea, and Brazil.
Participants agreed that co-operatives participated actively in economies but often underreported their activities. They said there was a need for continuing efforts to ensure the production of better data on co-operatives.
The forum made a number of recommendations. One of these was for the Alliance Africa to continue working with international organisations such as ILO, UNDESA, and FAO to improve co-operative data collection and will work towards launching a data management system.
The forum also suggested that the Alliance Africa developed a tool that will harmonise the classification of sectors and types of co-operatives for uniformity of data collection in the region. Another recommendation was for the Alliance Africa to develop a framework document that would guide all member state, encouraging countries that adopt the tool to report back at regular intervals.
As part of the three-day forum, participants made field trips to tour the country and experience the how the co-operative movement is impacting peoples’ lives in Lesotho.
The forum was organised by the Alliance Africa and hosted by the Ministry of Small Business Development Co-operatives and Marketing in the Kingdom of Lesotho.