MOU between NCBA CLUSA and Kenya’s Ministry of Cooperatives sharpens focus on co-op coffee sector

From left: George Ombado, Executive Director of ACCOSCA; NCBA CLUSA Executive Vice President and CFO Val Roach; David Mategwa, National Chairman of the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives; and NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien.

A new memorandum of understanding between NCBA CLUSA and Kenya’s Ministry of Co-operatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) seeks to sustainably grow the Kenyan coffee sector and support the country’s cooperative enabling environment.

The MOU was signed by NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien and Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya Musalia Mudavadi on May 24 during the U.S.-Kenya Business Forum. Hosted by the U.S.-Africa Business Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the event featured Kenyan President William Ruto and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. Prime Cabinet Secretary Mudavadi and other high-level Kenyan officials were in Washington, DC last week for a state visit marking 60 years of official U.S.-Kenya partnership.

NCBA CLUSA has worked in Kenya since 1963 with a continuous presence since 2001,  enhancing democracy and governance, food security, market access, youth development and co-op enabling environments. In partnership with the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (KUSCCO) and African Confederation of Cooperative Savings and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA), NCBA CLUSA has also advanced access to financing and promoted financial literacy and inclusion. ACCOSCA’s Executive Director George Ombado coordinated last week’s MOU.

The new agreement sharpens focus on Kenya’s coffee sector. Grown by more than 800,000 smallholder farmers who are organized into an estimated 500 cooperatives, Kenya’s coffee sector is a major employer supporting the livelihoods of at least 5 million people, according to the MOU.

NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien and Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya Musalia Mudavadi sign the MOU on May 24.

Under the five-year agreement, NCBA CLUSA and Kenya’s Ministry of MSMEs will bolster the sustainable growth of the coffee sector by strengthening coffee production, processing, marketing and export. Key goals include:

  • Improving the quality of coffee production and processing
  • Maximizing profit and minimizing risk for smallholder coffee farmers
  • Advancing access to affordable credit
  • Integrating cooperatives into the global coffee value chain
  • Establishing high-value national and international markets for Kenyan coffee

The MOU also includes a mutual commitment to advance Kenya’s national co-op policy and enabling environment. Under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Cooperative Development Program, NCBA CLUSA helped draft enabling legislation that informed the Cooperative Bill currently being considered by the Parliament of Kenya. Under our current round of CDP funding, NCBA CLUSA is supporting local co-op efforts advocating for the bill’s passage.

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