By Munene Maina
Saccos have been challenged to focus their energy at recruiting more young members as a way of safeguarding their survival in the future.
“The youth are the future and any Sacco that does not focus on this segment of the population will surely perish,” said Tom Gitogo, CIC Group CEO.
He said strength of the Co-operative movement relies on membership numbers and that the youth are the majority and capable of replacing an aging membership now seen in most societies. Given the critical role Co-operatives play in mobilization of savings, Gitogo said Saccos have no choice but to increase their membership by recruiting the youth.
“All that leadership in societies need is to remain ambitious and visionary in their planning. The youth must be educated on how to save and invest so that they can appreciate and join Saccos,” said Gitogo.
He said it is only through regular savings that Saccos can provide loans to members including cash to invest in long term projects.
“Big economies such as that of the USA have grown through support from Co-operative unions. We have no option but follow this path,” said Gitogo.
Joyce Wanjira, Kirinyaga County Minister in charge of Trade, Industrialization and Cooperatives attributes growth of the county to a vibrant Co-operative sector.
She said Kirinyaga County has over 116 Co-operatives, 59 of them Saccos
“The County Government provides a conducive environment for business and training as well as enabling legislation to ensure a thriving Co-operative sector,” said Wanjira. She urged societies to be more innovative in service delivery to members.