NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP) project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), celebrated the 100th International Day of Cooperatives in a variety of ways in different countries, to raise awareness of the role cooperatives play in building inclusive, sustainable economies and a better world.
In Madagascar, NCBA CLUSA and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumption (MICC) hosted the country’s 3rd National Forum on Cooperatives and an expo for cooperatives to showcase and sell their products on July 1st and 2nd. During the Forum, several presentations and critical topics were discussed, including proposed changes in the national cooperative bill, cooperative taxation, and tackling climate change. USAID’s Sustainable Environment and Economic Development Office Director, Agathe Sector provided opening remarks on the importance of cooperatives as Social and Conservation Enterprises improving livelihoods and contributing to biodiversity conservation through diversification, sustainable agricultural practices, and financing of natural resource management groups. The newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar, Claire Pierangelo, also visited the expo and spoke with several cooperative leaders.
The forum and expo were preceded by a two-day learning exchange workshop where over 100 leaders from more than 40 cooperatives across the country shared their experiences and good practices related to improving governance, capitalization, obtaining and managing certifications and negotiating contracts, and championing environmental sustainability. Vanilla cooperatives partnering with NCBA CLUSA through other USAID-funded projects, including the Mafatoky Sustainable Vanilla for People and Nature activity and the Mikajy activity led by Tetra Tech also participated.
In Kenya, NCBA CLUSA’s CDP project supported the International Day of Cooperatives celebration organized by Meru Dairy Union, a key CDP partner and pillar of Meru County’s cooperative sector. Over 20,000 cooperative members and their families and other community members from Meru and neighboring Tharaka Nithi County attended the day’s events. Meru and Tharaka Nithi County Government Officials, the Governor of Meru, and the Principal Secretary from the State Department of Agriculture also attended. Many cooperatives and service providers showcased their products and services, and cooperative officers took the opportunity to educate community members on the services offered by their county governments. Meru Dairy Union also hosted an awards ceremony for member performance in different areas such as best milk production, best book-keeping, and best in farmer mobilization. Several cooperatives that NCBA CLUSA works with through the CDP received awards.
In Peru, NCBA CLUSA co-sponsored a virtual event with the Peruvian Leadership School titled “NEURO-COOP: The future of cooperatives and cooperatives of the future.” Panelists included prominent leaders from Peru, Ecuador and Mexico, and NCBA CLUSA’s CDP Director in Peru, Oscar Inocente. Discussion focused on how cooperatives can be better prepared to tackle future challenges and achieve sustainability. NCBA CLUSA CDP Peru Director analyzed the current situation of coops in the country, good practices and common mistakes and shortcomings, and suggested actions and strategies for the future, particularly around intercooperation, inclusion of women and youth, and partnerships with government and the private sector.
In all these celebrations for the 100th International Day of Cooperatives, there was a common theme of cooperation among coops, which is the sixth of the universal cooperative principles and a critical part of the cooperative identity adopted by the cooperative movement worldwide. Cooperatives are working together to build a better world, and NCBA CLUSA is proud to support this work globally through the USAID CDP and other programs.