By Azael Masese
Management of Kenya’s cooperatives is set to get better with the establishment of the African Confederation of Cooperative and Credit Associations (ACCOSCA) Academy in Nairobi.
The academy, the first of its kind in Africa, will offer hybrid training programmes with the aim of enhancing professionalism and competencies to run effective cooperatives in Kenya.
The training programmes encompass governance and leadership, regulation and compliance and financial education.
Once up and running, the academy will be a milestone in the country’s cooperative movement, which is ranked 1st in Africa and 7th globally.
With 27,000 registered cooperatives and a membership of more than 14 million, the academy seeks to enhance skills and competencies at all levels, inculcate professionalism and encourage leaders within the vibrant sector.
Consequently, this is set to boost the contribution of the sector towards the country’s gross domestic gross product.
Data indicates that the cooperative sector contributes 32 per cent of the country’s national savings rates, above the average of 15 per cent.
Early October, top Sacco players from Kenya and Africa and other 17 international climbers participated in the Climb Africa to raise funds to construct the Academy.
Notable Kenyan figures that participated included National Police Deposit Taking Sacco Board Chair David Mategwa and Stima Sacco CEO Gamaliel Hassan.
Grace Sharon Akinyi, Regional Manager at Stanbic Bank Kenya also took part in the event.
Accosca, in its social media pages said that 2022 is momentous as it went a notch higher in its unwavering mission to support financial inclusion in Africa.
This, it noted, through the academy to improve professionalism among Saccos in Africa by supporting cross learning and knowledge transfer.
“The Climb Africa initiative sought to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa’s as a strategy to raise financial resources to outfit the proposed Academy. Thanks to cooperators across the world, that dream is now budding into a reality,” it stated in its official pages.
The Accosca Academy is set to be the next big thing in the African cooperative movement, Accosca says.
“Inspired by the adaptability, community-uniting and life-giving sustainability of the baobab tree, the Academy will play a proactive, productive role in helping Africa achieve its economic potential and giving Africans a better place to live and work,” it stated.
The academy will provide opportunities for Sacco employees to gain knowledge, learn new skills and build confidence they will apply to benefit members.
It will also create a platform where learners will share ideas and experience and consequently enable the best practices be emulated. From across Africa and the world.
It will also offer an opportunity to Sacco management a forum to address critical issues and how to solve problems and establishing the best practices. It will motivate and encourage leaders and an entrepreneurial spirit. Increase job and career potential for employees from entry level to executive.
“At The Accosca Academy, veteran financial professionals and industry novices come together—in-person and virtually—to teach, learn, and grow individually and collectively while connecting with others who share the goal of improving communities throughout Africa,” said Lois Kitsch.
Kitsch is the, Chairperson, International-Credit Union Development Educator (I-CUDE) African Cooperative Development Foundation.