Global Programs

On #CoopsDay, celebrations set the stage for the 2025 International Year of Cooperatives

Alex Serrano, NCBA CLUSA’s Senior Vice President for International Programs, addresses participants at a #CoopsDay event in Peru.

Cooperators around the world celebrated International Day of Cooperatives on Saturday, July 6. Celebrated worldwide for more than a century and officially proclaimed by the United Nations on the centenary of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1995, #CoopsDay amplifies the impact and legacy of cooperatives and unites 1 billion co-op members globally.

NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Ecosystem and Social Inclusion (CESI) project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP), commemorated #CoopsDay in its four core countries—Guatemala, Kenya, Madagascar and Peru. In all countries, project events strengthened the cooperative identity, increased awareness of the UN’s declaration of 2025 as the International Year of Cooperatives, and encouraged cooperators to leverage this key opportunity for wider cooperative education, awareness and advocacy.

Advancing an Enabling Environment in Madagascar

In Madagascar, more than 175 people—including representatives from 70+ co-ops, public officials and USAID Madagascar representatives—participated in an event co-organized with Ministry for the Industrialization and Commerce (MIC), German international cooperation entity GIZ, and cooperative leaders. The public was able to watch a live broadcast of this celebration on the ministry’s Facebook page. During his speech Paul Gabriel Razafimahatratra, a co-op representative, lifted up #CoopsDay as an opportunity to raise awareness of how co-ops strengthen families, businesses and communities, contributing to the broader development of Madagascar. “That’s why we are here,” he said.

Among the main results of the event was the shared acknowledgement that it is necessary for Madagascar to join the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), to set up training programs for cooperative leaders and managers, and make sure cooperatives are considered as important actors in the local industrialization policy. Madagascar’s Minister of Industrialization and Trade Edgard Razafindravahy said the day’s celebration illustrated Madagascar’s solidarity with the ICA. “The theme of today’s celebration corresponds perfectly with the government’s vision—building a better future through cooperatives. This is why the government’s law on cooperatives is now aligned with the  international standard and acknowledges cooperatives as businesses.”

Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Peru

In Peru, together with the National Confederation of Cooperatives of Peru (CONFENACOOP), the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI) and Ministry of Production (PRODUCE), CDP/CESI co-organized an event called “Cooperatives Build a Better Future for All People” on July 5. Attended by more than 100 people, this commemoration served to promote the cooperative business model as an alternative to improve the competitiveness of the country’s economic sectors and actively contribute to inclusive and sustainable development, and stressed the need to promote cooperative ecosystems and cooperative integration as vital sustainability strategies for cooperatives. As part of this event, PRODUCE provided the “Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation Medal” award to CDP/CESI partner La Prosperidad de Chirinos Agrarian Coffee Cooperative for its contribution to agricultural activity in Peru.

Julio Arias, General Manager of CONFENACOOP, a CDPC/CESI subawardee, called cooperativism a people-centered business model designed for socioeconomic development. Cooperative members “use [their] resources and capabilities to achieve common objectives, transform their quality of life. Guided by their intentions, beliefs and desires, they redefine their problems and their reality. In short, [cooperatives] are social builders.”

Mark Gizzi, Director of USAID Peru’s Office of Sustainable Development, made remarks on behalf of the U.S. Government. “We want to pay tribute to all the men and women who have committed themselves to their cooperatives, who fight for their rights and for the institutional strengthening of their organizations,” he said.

Recognizing Co-op Achievements in Kenya

In Kenya, CDP/CESI collaborated closely with cooperative unions in two counties, Meru and Nandy, to co-organize local events to celebrate this year’s International Day of Cooperatives. Farmers and cooperative members appreciated the opportunity to participate in these local events, which also served to promote coop-to-coop trade and shared purchases. In Meru, three CDP/CESI partner dairy cooperatives, Abogeta, Nkuene and Githongo, were presented with awards for “Best Managed Cooperative,” “Highest Milk Producer Cooperative” and “Best Bookkeeping Cooperative,” respectively.

In June, Meru Central Dairy Farmers union organized a pre-Ushirika Day one month prior to International Day of Cooperatives to prepare for this celebration. This event was attended by the 80 cooperative societies that make up Meru Dairy Union, comprising of about 40,000 farmer representatives. The event was graced by Kenyan President William Ruto, as well as cooperative stakeholders from the Government of Kenya. President Ruto addressed the importance of collaboration and partnerships among cooperatives and development partners, and mentioned the MOU that was signed between the Kenya Government and NCBA CLUSA during his state visit in the U.S.

Empowering Women in Guatemala

In Guatemala, an online event was co-organized with the National Institute for Cooperatives (INACOP) and the National Committee of Cooperative Women, part of the Guatemalan Confederation of Cooperative Federations (CONFECOOP) via NCBA CLUSA’s Cooperative Business School on July 6.

During opening remarks, BelĂ©n CĂĄrdenas, President of CONFECOOP’s National Committee of Cooperative Women, who highlighted “the importance of women’s leadership in cooperatives, which aim to create opportunities and strengthen the tireless struggle to break down barriers, empowering women to contribute to the sustainable development of their communities.” By creating economic opportunities for women, young people and vulnerable populations, cooperatives directly impact the root causes of migration.


Cooperatives received “Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation Medal” awards at the Co-ops International Day event in Peru.


Participants at the Co-ops International Day event in Peru.


Mr. Edgard RAZAFINDRAVAHY, Minister of Industrialization and Trade, talks to event participants in Madagascar.

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