Africa https://www.ica.coop/en/regions/africa en Japanese agricultural co-operatives and family farming threatened by reform proposals https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/japanese-agricultural-co-operatives-and-family-farming-threatened-reform-proposals <span>Japanese agricultural co-operatives and family farming threatened by reform proposals</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2014-05-30T12:00:00Z">Fri, 30/05/2014 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/janschiettecatte" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">janschiettecatte</span></span> <span>Fri, 30/05/2014 - 15:39</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-thumbnails/japan-1675739939.png?itok=pkme7YRK" width="467" height="269" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <h4 align="center"><span style="font-size: 1.385em; line-height: 1.538em;">Proposed reforms threaten Japanese agricultural co-operatives&nbsp;and family farming</span></h4><p align="center"><u><a href="http://ica.coop/en/media/library/press-releases/japanese-agricultural-co-operatives-and-family-farming-threatened">Read the Alliance's press release on this topic</a></u></p><p align="center">&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The International Co-operative Alliance condemns a proposal to reform agricultural co-operative structures in Japan as an attack on the fundamental principles of the co-operative movement and a threat to the unity and welfare of farmer&nbsp;co-operatives in the International Year of Family Farming.</strong></p><p><strong>Brussels, </strong><strong>Sunday, 1 June</strong><strong>, 2014</strong>– On 22 May 2014, an advisory panel to the Japanese prime minister accepted a proposal to reform the structure of agricultural co-operatives in Japan.</p><p>Among the reforms proposed are:</p><ul><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To dissolve existing multi-purpose agricultural co-operatives (encompassing credit, insurance, guidance, marketing and supplying) and force conversion to single-purpose agricultural co-operatives.</li><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To dilute member ownership by insisting that more than half of agricultural co-operative board members must be either certified agricultural producers or business managers of private companies (both of whom might be non-members). Currently, in line with global co-operative principles, the law stipulates that two-thirds of board members must be farmer members.</li><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To reduce the role and strength of the Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.538em;">(JA-Zenchu) by turning it into a think tank to promote agriculture.</span></li><li style="margin-left: 35.7pt;">To drive further deregulation by changing the ownership structure of agricultural land.</li></ul><p>Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative Alliance, said: “these proposals clearly attack the very fundamental principles of the co-operative movement – member ownership and control in particular. The integrated nature of the agricultural&nbsp;co-operative structures, primary multi-purpose agricultural co-operatives supported by unions and federations, mirrors those which have developed around the world. They have been a critical part of the success of co-operatives in Japan, and have contributed so much over the last 6 decades to the plurality of business models within the Japanese economy. Let us also not forget the huge contribution made by agricultural co-operatives to the recovery programme for those so desperately affected by the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami – something the Japanese media themselves told me during my visit five months after the disaster.”</p><p>Pauline Green went on to say “The proposal totally disregards the values and principles of co-operatives and the whole global co-operative movement – owned by a billion of the world’s citizens – &nbsp;will stand with their Japanese fellow co-operators in opposition to the dismantling of the Japanese agricultural co-operative movement and the diminution of the members’ rights in this way. The United Nations has designated the year 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, but this whole approach of the proposal goes against it. While the UN acknowledges that family farming contributes to sustainable agriculture and the environment, the proposal denies the value of family farming and tries to promote agriculture by corporations.” &nbsp;</p><p align="center"># ENDS #</p><h3>For further information contact</h3><p>Jan Schiettecatte<br><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Communications Director</span><br><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">International Co-operative Alliance</span><br><a href="file://eurocoopsrv2011/UserShares/jschiet/ICA2/press%20releases/schiettecatte@ica.coop" style="line-height: 1.538em;">schiettecatte@ica.coop</a><br><span style="line-height: 1.538em;">Tel: + 32 2 285 00 76</span><br><a href="http://www.ica.coop/" style="line-height: 1.538em;">www.ica.coop</a></p><h3>&nbsp;</h3><h3>NOTES TO THE EDITOR</h3><h3>&nbsp;</h3><h3>About the International Co-operative Alliance</h3><p>The International Co-operative Alliance is a non-profit international association established in 1895 to advance the co-operative social enterprise model. The Alliance is the apex organisation for co-operatives worldwide, representing 268 co-operative federations and organisations across 93 countries (figures of May 2014). The Alliance’s members are national level co-operative federations and individual co-operative organisations.</p><p>The International Co-operative Alliance works with global and regional governments and organisations to create the legislative environments that allow co-operatives to form and grow. Towards media and public, the Alliance promotes the importance of co-operatives’ values-based business model.</p><p>Yearly, the Alliance publishes the World Co-operative Monitor, the index of the world's largest co-operative and mutual enterprises. The Monitor demonstrates the economic impact of co-operative enterprises worldwide. The 2013 Monitor revealed a total worth of USD $ 2 trillion for the world’s top 300 co-operative and mutual organisations, spread across 23 countries.</p><p>Operating from a global office in Brussels, Belgium, the Alliance is organised with eight Sectoral Organisations (Banking, Agriculture, Fisheries, Insurance, Health, Housing, Consumer Co-operatives, and Worker Co-operatives). The Alliance has four Regional Offices: Europe, Africa, Americas, and Asia-Pacific.</p><p>Further information about the Alliance’s Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade is available at <a href="http://www.ica.coop/">www.ica.coop</a>. Follow the Alliance on <strong>twitter</strong> at @icacoop. Like the Alliance's <strong>Facebook</strong> page at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/internationalcooperativealliance">www.facebook.com/internationalcooperativealliance</a></p><p align="center">* * *</p> <!--/ body --> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline field__label">Tags:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/agriculture" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/agriculture"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Agriculture</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="Agriculture" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/policy" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/policy"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">policy</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="policy" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/japan" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/japan"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Japan</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="Japan" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/ica-asia-and-pacific" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/ica-asia-and-pacific"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">ICA Asia and Pacific;</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="ICA Asia and Pacific;" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> </div> </div> Fri, 30 May 2014 13:39:45 +0000 janschiettecatte 9872 at https://www.ica.coop Youth Owned Cooperatives: Challenges in Nigeria https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/youth-owned-cooperatives-challenges-nigeria <span>Youth Owned Cooperatives: Challenges in Nigeria</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-12-09T12:00:00Z">Fri, 09/12/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/media-team" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Media team</span></span> <span>Mon, 20/02/2017 - 21:03</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/ogscofed-staff-coop-deco-607222371.jpeg?itok=Jc7vInrs" width="590" height="331" alt="OGSCOFED STAFF Coop Deco." typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">By Badejo Adeyemi, Ogun State Youths Cooperative</span></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-e8856e65-e5b2-f2f1-7a20-40d0e8177b34" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">In the Nigeria today, youth face the rising price of college tuition and a job market particularly inhospitable to young people. As of early 2014, 15 percent of young people ages 16 to 24 (not including those in school or otherwise not looking work) are unemployed as compared with 7.3 percent of all workers. Early unemployment and underemployment has long-term consequences. Individuals who are unemployed as young adults tend to earn lower wages for many years due to missed work experiences and skill development. Nigeria youth unemployment trends reflect what some have called a global “youth unemployment crisis.” Moreover, unreflected in these numbers is the growing number of young people working in unpaid internships.</span></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Simultaneously, interest in entrepreneurship – particularly social entrepreneurship – appears to be growing among young people. Some organizations are emerging that seek to promote youth entrepreneurship as a way to combat poverty. Social entrepreneurs are emerging, but few organizations have explored youth cooperative development as a possible approach. However, youth cooperative development presents many compelling opportunities for combating poverty and “brain drain,” generative leadership development, and engaged citizenship.</span></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Young people can generally start working in non-agricultural, non-hazardous jobs when they are 14 and many young people – especially low-income youth looking for a way to earn extra money for themselves or their families – do. Youth can, and often are encouraged, to start enterprises because the benefits of doing so are well documented and extensive. 1. By helping youth create worker co-operatives, the benefits of entrepreneurship will be multiplied through more individuals taking leadership roles in the creation of a business. 2.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;"> Combatting poverty and brain drain. Brain drain occurs when youth leave their communities due to lack of opportunities. As the youth leave, a leadership void is created in the community which outsiders view as an opportunity to capitalize on. This brain drain harms the community in a multitude of ways, with two in particular: (1) profits from development do not enrich the community and (2) leaders in the community do not always have the community’s best interest in mind. When youth are able to grow within their own communities into leaders, they are able to preserve the culture and stabilize the local economy.</span></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Generative Leadership Development. Modernly, leadership development all too often part of the non-cooperative, command and control variety which is inherently hierarchical. Governmental; research and business results; suggest that more cooperative structures are necessary in our society due to the myriad of benefits they create. And Richard Wolff’s “Democracy at Work”, shows that happiness and productivity markedly increase when people are given autonomy over themselves and their jobs. For our society to progress for the better, a new kind of leadership development is required. We must begin molding leaders interested in generating wealth rather than extracting it; leaders interested in building up the world rather than breaking it down.</span></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Engaged Citizenship – Democracy in Crisis. The cooperative organizational structure teaches self-governance skills and creates stakeholders in local communities. Currently, the youth are taught democratic principles but are not allowed to engage until they “come of age”. This model is contradictory because it shows the youth that our democracy is willing to impose laws on them without considering their input in the least. By offering the youth an outlet to practice democratic principles, we ensure that they will “hit the ground running” and be a fully engaged electorate when they do “come of age”.</span></span></span></p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: arial,helvetica,sans-serif;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">There are a variety of issues that arise when advancing youth economic development ideals. Legal issues may arise because these individuals are minors (under 18 years old). Other issues arise due to more general characteristics of youth. This primer is written primarily for non-minors working in youth development seeking to support youth entrepreneurs.</span></span></span></p> <div dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div> <!--/ body --> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline field__label">Tags:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/youth" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/youth"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Youth</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="Youth" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/tags/entrepreneurship" typeof="schema:Thing"> <span class="tag--item tag--item_gray tag--item_big"><a href="/en/tags/entrepreneurship"> <div property="schema:name" class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Entrepreneurship</div> </a></span> <span property="schema:name" content="Entrepreneurship" class="hidden"></span> </div></div> </div> </div> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-geographical-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field__label">Geographical Tags:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/taxonomy/term/11391"> <h2><a href="/en/taxonomy/term/11391"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Africa</div> </a></h2> </div> </div> <div class="field__value"><div about="/en/taxonomy/term/11302"> <h2><a href="/en/taxonomy/term/11302"> <div class="field field--name-name field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item">Nigeria</div> </a></h2> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field__row"> <h3 class="field field--name-field-news-alliance-involvement field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field__label">Alliance Involvement:</h3> <div> <div class="field__value"><a href="/en/committee-tags/alliance-youth-network" hreflang="en">Alliance Youth Network</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:03:38 +0000 Media team 13635 at https://www.ica.coop Leaders’ Forum discusses the importance of statistics on co-operatives in Africa https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/leaders-forum-discusses-importance-statistics-co-operatives-africa <span>Leaders’ Forum discusses the importance of statistics on co-operatives in Africa</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-06-27T12:00:00Z">Mon, 27/06/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Mon, 27/06/2016 - 10:52</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/alliance-africa-edigest-1285566047.jpg?itok=3-crZG07" width="600" height="450" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>Over 130 participants met in Lesotho for the 3<sup>rd</sup> 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.</p><p>The event brought together representatives from Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Korea, and Brazil.</p><p>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.</p><p>The forum made a number of recommendations. One of these was for the <a href="http://ica.coop/en/node/4725">Alliance Africa</a> 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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p> <!--/ body --> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 08:52:09 +0000 Anca Voinea 13299 at https://www.ica.coop South African minister plans to use co-ops to fight unemployment https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/south-african-minister-plans-use-co-ops-fight-unemployment <span>South African minister plans to use co-ops to fight unemployment</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-06-01T12:00:00Z">Wed, 01/06/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Wed, 01/06/2016 - 10:52</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/screen-shot-2016-06-01-at-094849-1980512134.png?itok=b-xQx8Df" width="621" height="414" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>South Africa’s minister for Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, is looking to set up community based co-operatives to address the lack on jobs in the area of Motherwell, Port Elisabeth. The department has engaged with women in the area, majority of them unemployed single parents unable to provide for their families. Forming co-operatives can help them secure sustainable sources of income.</p><p>Speaking before the National Council of Provinces, the minister said: “The department has created a network of 166 Community Nutrition and Development Centres in targeted poor communities affected by high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. In return, these centres have created over 600 jobs. We will increase these centres to at least 200 in this financial year.”</p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">The department is working to link food co-operatives with local businesses and it has so far connected 200 co-operatives to different ventures, including Community Nutrition Development Centres.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">Photo:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">South Africa’s minister for Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini (c) M</span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">inistry for Social Development</span></p> <!--/ body --> Wed, 01 Jun 2016 08:52:11 +0000 Anca Voinea 13184 at https://www.ica.coop News from regions: Africa https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/news-regions-africa <span>News from regions: Africa </span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-03-31T12:00:00Z">Thu, 31/03/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Thu, 31/03/2016 - 14:46</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/co-op-bank-kenya-534620985.jpeg?itok=Wf6Vnaa0" width="600" height="345" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p><strong>Kenya: Coop Bank receives accolades</strong></p><p>On 2 December 2015 the Co-operative Bank of Kenya was recognized with the esteemed Award of Bank of the Year 2015 for Financial Inclusion in the Banker’s Award run by the Financial Times of London. The global award also praised the Bank for the innovative Mcoop Cash mobile platform, which allows customers to do gain access to banking services from their cell phones. The co-operative bank announced a kshs. 12.16 billion Profit before tax for nine months ended September 2015, an impressive 33% rise. This is the highest growth rate in profitability among Kenya’s Tier 1 banks.</p><p><strong>Zimbabwe: ZINAHCO takes part in review of co-operative policy</strong></p><p>Throughout the past months ZINAHCO, the Zimbabwe National Association of Housing Co-operatives, has been reviewing their by-laws with full participation from its members. The association has been participating in the review of the Cooperative Policy and the Cooperative Societies Act as well, as the main consultant. More recently, they have also conducted trainings for gender and HIV/AIDS and women leadership involving over 200 co-operators.</p><p><strong>Zambia: NPMCU develops training centre</strong></p><p>The Northern Province Co-operative Marketing Union Ltd (NPMCU) held their annual general meeting on 27 November 2015. Another highlight from last year was developing a training centre that will be used to train the operators of the Presidential Milling Initiative. The government’s initiative aims to introduce 2,000 solar-powered hammer mills to help reduce-mealie-meal prices. NPMCU has also partnered with Kasama District Cooperative Union to better market their soya beans.</p><p>Photo: The Co-operative Bank of Kenya</p> <!--/ body --> Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:46:15 +0000 Anca Voinea 12863 at https://www.ica.coop USA: Electrify Africa Act highlights the role of rural electric co-operatives https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/usa-electrify-africa-act-highlights-role-rural-electric-co-operatives <span>USA: Electrify Africa Act highlights the role of rural electric co-operatives </span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2016-02-25T12:00:00Z">Thu, 25/02/2016 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Thu, 25/02/2016 - 09:56</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/nreca-in-south-sudan-training-linemen-1446130440.jpg?itok=OgNP--Fa" width="600" height="438" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>A new law enacted by President Barack Obama states that the United States would partner and consult with governments of sub-Saharan countries as well as international financial institutions, the private sector and co-operatives, to promote first time access to power and power services for 50m people by 2020.</p><p>The Electrify Africa Act also calls for an analysis of existing mechanisms to promote commercialisation of electric service through distribution service providers, including from co-operatives to consumers.</p><p>The new law was welcomed by the National Rural Electric Co-operative Association (NRECA), which represents more than 900 rural electric co-operatives across the USA.</p><p>“We are celebrating this achievement with all our members, because our domestic and international work has always focused on power distribution, and making it possible for people to have direct access to electricity,” said NRECA Interim chief executive, Jeffrey Connor.</p><p>“This new law makes it possible to have a significant impact on the lives of millions, and we are proud to be part of this worthwhile effort to bring power to Sub-Saharan Africa. We applaud and thank the bipartisan leadership of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member Sen. Ben Cardin (D-M.D.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who all believe that promoting economic development by expanding access to electricity will benefit people on both sides of the Atlantic,” he added.</p><p>NRECA International is currently working on electrification projects in Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda.</p> <!--/ body --> Thu, 25 Feb 2016 08:56:35 +0000 Anca Voinea 12653 at https://www.ica.coop USA co-operatives working to support farmers in Mozambique https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/usa-co-operatives-working-support-farmers-mozambique <span>USA co-operatives working to support farmers in Mozambique</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-12-28T12:00:00Z">Mon, 28/12/2015 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Mon, 28/12/2015 - 13:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/seeds-fair-mozambique-1463592845.jpg?itok=sZRuKnk0" width="570" height="427" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:11pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43cf832e-e877-9792-4863-199cc0bcf2b5"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Cambria; color: rgb(27, 36, 50); white-space: pre-wrap;">The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) has developed local market seed fairs to help farmers in Mozambique gain access to improved seeds and fertilisers.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:11pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43cf832e-e877-9792-4863-199cc0bcf2b5"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Cambria; color: rgb(27, 36, 50); white-space: pre-wrap;">The SEEDS project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, raises private sector investments from two commercial seed companies to provide expanded access to quality certified seeds for 10,000 smallholder farmers in Northern Mozambique.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.2;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:11pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-43cf832e-e877-9792-4863-199cc0bcf2b5"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Cambria; color: rgb(27, 36, 50); white-space: pre-wrap;">On average only 10% of the 90,000 tons of seed planted in Mozambique every year is certified. The remaining 90% is grain retained retained by farmers from one year to the next. Another challenge for the country’s farmers is the need to travel on average 50 miles (80km) to the nearest seed store. Often by the time they arrive to the store seeds have already sold out. The seeds they buy are sometimes old a low-yielding variety or uncertified.</span></span></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-43cf832e-e877-9792-4863-199cc0bcf2b5"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Cambria; color: rgb(27, 36, 50); white-space: pre-wrap;">To address this, SEEDS identifies local entrepreneurs and supports them to create small businesses selling farmer-sized packets of seeds and inputs, training them in business management, marketing, advertising, branding, retail strategies and customer service. SEEDS agents' stores can be immediately identified in the communities by their distinctive green and SEEDS logo.</span></span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(27, 36, 50); font-family: Cambria; font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.538em;">Photo: SEEDS fair in Mozambique</span></p> <!--/ body --> Mon, 28 Dec 2015 12:09:10 +0000 Anca Voinea 12394 at https://www.ica.coop Reports from the Africa region https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/reports-africa-region <span>Reports from the Africa region</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-11-30T12:00:00Z">Mon, 30/11/2015 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Mon, 30/11/2015 - 11:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/chiyoge-sifa-829723896.jpeg?itok=69Io2htv" width="800" height="600" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p class="p1">Co-operators and high-level politicians met in Botswana on 13-14 October for the annual Africa Cooperative Ministerial Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Contribution of Co-operatives to African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want’.</p><p class="p1">Participants were divided in seven commissions to look at the seven aspirations of the Agenda 2063. To achieve a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, they suggested increasing awareness of the co-operative model and incorporating it into the school curriculum. Co-operatives should also create strong synergies with other core stakeholders, they argued.</p><p class="p1">Another recommendation was to ensure good governance, democracy respect for human rights and the rule of law through co-operatives, particularly in sectors like housing, health, saving and credit and information and communication technology. They highlighted that co-operatives need supportive co-operative laws and policies to provide a regulatory framework within which they can operate.</p><p class="p1">Co-operatives are also contributing to the achievement of peace and security by creating employment for the unemployed, especially the youth who in many cases are perpetrators of crime in communities. Co-operatives promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, said the delegates.</p><p class="p1">In terms of achieving greater participation of women and youth, they suggested that co-operatives should be encouraged to establish a 30% gender rule. Co-operative leaders can also mentor and provide opportunities for young people, argued the participants.</p><p class="p1">Participants at the conference have also elected the Honourable Vincent T Seretse Minister of Trade and Industry as the conference’s chairperson for the next three years, who will be taking over from Honourable Francois Kanimba.</p><p class="p1">Also speaking at the conference, President of Alliance Africa, Stanley Muchiri, urged members of the Alliance to align their strategies to the Africa Cooperative Development Strategy.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Regional Director for Alliance Africa, Dr Chiyoge Sifa talked about the key activities planned by the organisation, including establishing a co-operative start-up support system, assisting in the establishment of a Co-operative World Leader educational programme as well as an online Co-operative University.</p><p class="p1">Co-operatives from across Africa were also represented at the Social and Solidarity Economy conference in Morocco, on 20-21 November. The event featured a presentation from Chiyoge Sifa, director of the International Co-operative Alliance for Africa, who looked at development and coherence within the co-operative sector. Other speakers also analysed the state of the social and solidarity economy in Morocco, the Mediterranean Region and Africa. Another topic that was discussed was the existing legal framework in the different regions as well as the governance structures of different enterprises, including co-operatives. Delegates have also explored the contribution of research in the definition of social and solidarity economy standards.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Photo: Chiyoge Sifa speaking at the A<span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">frica Cooperative Ministerial Conference.</span></p> <!--/ body --> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 10:40:49 +0000 Anca Voinea 12259 at https://www.ica.coop The co-operative is Africa’s model beyond 2020 https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/co-operative-africas-model-beyond-2020 <span>The co-operative is Africa’s model beyond 2020</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-11-30T12:00:00Z">Mon, 30/11/2015 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Mon, 30/11/2015 - 10:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/sithembiso-nyoni-2137586750.jpg?itok=4sEGNx1v" width="600" height="399" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p class="p1">The co-operative model is helping people across Africa overcome barriers and build better lives. Zimbabwean politician and a former Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Sithembiso Nyoni was a keynote speaker at the Alliance’s Global Conference in Antalya.</p><p class="p1">She talked about the role of co-operatives in tackling the challenges faced by Africa, including climate change.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">“Climate change is the biggest threat to human development and our survival. It resulted not just in global warming but also in floods, droughts, and other changes leading to people struggling to survive, impacted on our water supply and food. In Zimbanwe the government has built small and big dams and co-ops have taken advantage of this to create fishing, irrigation and food production enterprises, she said.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Another land reform has enabled 500,000 families to engage in agriculture and livestock, leading to an increase in the number of agricultural co-operatives. <b>“</b>Beyond 2020 co-ops have a big opportunity to grow bigger and control agri businesses and the food industry”. She added that the governments of Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia had increased their budget for farmers and co-operatives. “This to me shows that they are looking beyond 2020,” she said.</p><p class="p1">Co-operatives are also making a difference in the energy sector, developing renewable solar power and biogas schemes. Ms Nyoni explained how in Kenya low carbon co-ops brought solar energy to villages. Some of the revenue also gets invested in fertilising land and biogas.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">Saving and credit co-operatives are also empowering people across the continent. “I can never over emphasise the importance of saving and credit co-operatives in Africa, a lifeline to SMEs, to themselves and to the very poor,” she said.</p><p class="p1">In Kenya co-operators have formed a Co-operative Bank, now the third largest in that country,” she added.</p><p class="p1">Co-ops are the biggest provider of housing in Zimbabwe. However, they have to operate in a corrupt market. “Housing co-ops are infiltrated by land barons, selling land to co-ops in unconventional ways,” added Ms Nyoni.</p><p class="p1">“I feel we still don’t put enough emphasis on creating supportive environment and institutions for the recognition and support of co-ops. Another challenge is the digital gap between southern and northern co-ops. We need as the Alliance to build institutions for digital inclusiveness,” she said.</p><p class="p1">“You cannot kill co-ops, only inconvenience them. Africa is on the move. This is our century. The co-operative is our model.”</p> <!--/ body --> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:53:08 +0000 Anca Voinea 12251 at https://www.ica.coop Tunisia’s first consumer co-operative backs healthy eating through weekly food market https://www.ica.coop/en/media/news/tunisias-first-consumer-co-operative-backs-healthy-eating-through-weekly-food-market <span>Tunisia’s first consumer co-operative backs healthy eating through weekly food market</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-headline-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item"><time datetime="2015-10-14T12:00:00Z">Wed, 14/10/2015 - 12:00</time> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/en/users/anca-voinea" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anca Voinea</span></span> <span>Wed, 14/10/2015 - 13:20</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-fullimage field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/full_image/public/news-item-fullimage/tunisie-coop-new-member-1467606152.jpg?itok=24DepbC1" width="800" height="600" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <!-- body --> <p>Tunisia’s first consumer co-operative has launched a weekly market fair to sell agricultural products. Called “The market of the co-op” the initiative will bring together small local producers, farmers and craftsmen every Saturday for two months. They get to showcase their products and establish a direct contact with consumers. The co-operative is supported by Développement sans frontièrs (DSF) and Lab’ESS in Tunisia.</p><p>The first market opened on 19 September in Belvédeère, Tunis, from 9:30am to 13:00pm, bringing together over 60 people. The idea behind the project is to enable people to buy fresh products from local producers while also supporting the local economy.</p><p>Tunisie Coop hopes that the event will help create a social connection between producers and consumers and encourage responsible consumption. The weekly market is also the co-op’s first initiative since it was launched in March 2015. Consumers shopping at the market fair will get the chance to find out more about the co-operative and join it. The market will take place every week for the next two months, at the end of which Tunisie Coop wants to open a shop to sell fresh products, including meat.</p><p>Another objective of Tunisie Coop is to promote sustainable practices in agriculture and healthy eating. Naoufel Haddad, president of the Tunisie Coop and one of the 15 founding members says the project is inspired by a Japanese federation of consumer co-operatives, Seikatsu Club, which he learned about while visiting the country. The co-op model helps cut middlemen, by working with producers based within 60km from each other.</p><p>Agriculture continues to play an important role in Tunisia’s economy, accounting for over 12% of the GDP and employing almost a quarter of the country’s labour force. While the organic market continues to grow, domestic demand for organic products is not high. Tunisie Coop aims to encourage consumers to buy more local quality products, developing an “agriculture of proximity”.</p><p>The co-operative sector also has a long history in Tunisia, with the first consumer co-operative set up in 1924 by trade union leader Mohamed Ali El Hami. However, the “forced co-operation” that followed in 1962 along with the failure of some co-operatives created a negative public opinion about the model. “The reticence towards co-operatives seems to be fading now,” says Mr Naoufel Haddad.</p><p>“We chose the name and domain Tunisie.coop. The word Coop symbolises the word ‘co-operative’ but can make one think of the word co-operation, a co-operative project between the producer and the consumer. With Tunisie Coop we want to make the consumer the key driver of change to encourage sustainable agriculture in Tunisia. This project gives us a real confidence in recreating the connection between the consumer and the producer as well as creating a win-win relationship.”</p><p>Photo:&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">Naoufel Haddad, president of the Tunisie Coop welcomes a new members</span></p> <!--/ body --> Wed, 14 Oct 2015 11:20:14 +0000 Anca Voinea 12043 at https://www.ica.coop