Stakeholders from across the African continent gathered at the just-concluded International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Africa conference in Abuja to celebrate the achievements of housing cooperatives in Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya. They were hailed as exemplary models for other countries to follow.

The conference, themed “Cooperatives For a Sustainable Africa,” brought together stakeholders, experts, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the important role of cooperatives in promoting sustainable development in Africa.

The forum also seeks to create a platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovative solutions to address Africa’s socio-economic and environmental challenges through the cooperative movement.

Speaking to journalists at the forum on Wednesday, the President, International Cooperative Alliance, North Africa Sub-Regional Office, Egypt, Major-General Waleed Elbarody, said the forum gave ample opportunity for members to brainstorm on how best cooperatives in the continent can be more sustaining.

He said: ‘’I’m very happy that in Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya housing cooperatives have been very successful over the years, only asking other countries to emulate the three countries mentioned, this will also help to boost food availability for us all.’’

According to him, cooperatives all over the continent should also focus on the importance of data to drive the cooperatives in this modern age, stressing, ‘’It will help create jobs for our peoples, make us know cooperative community and their businesses.’’

Contributing, Executive Director of ICA, North Africa Sub-Region, Ambassador Dr. Hazeen Ramadan, told the media that poor information flows and poor data usage are some of the challenges facing cooperatives in the continent.

He said: “I would want us to bridge the gaps in the region, Nigeria is leading in cooperative business, followed by others. Each time I attend this meeting, I’m always amazed and surprised at the level of activities that comes with it.

“I can assure you that if we follow the principles of cooperatives very well, then, there will be job creation for our people but of course, it’s up to each country based on the applicability of their laws, obsolete laws working against cooperatives needs to be amended or modified to meet present realities.’’


Source: The Guardian