The importance of Ushirika Day celebrations to coop sector


As cooperators troop to various venues across the country to celebrate the International Day for Cooperatives, commonly known as Ushirika Day locally, it’s important to look at what the day means for players in this industry.

Ushirika day 2023 has a unique theme of Cooperatives: Partners For Accelerated Sustainable Development. The theme attempts to reflect on the many positive impacts of the cooperative movement.

This day is a great reflection of the global impact the cooperative movement has on various sectors of the economy and an opportunity for cooperatives to showcase their products, learn from and challenge each other.

Cooperators use the day as a platform to have their national governments learn the importance of the cooperative movement and to help the apex cooperatives stand and request for a good environment for coop operations.

County governments are reminded of the role they need to play to ensure residents reap big from the cooperatives in their areas.

They should also able to understand the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats cooperatives face while trying to improve the lives of citizens.

Both levels of governments need to ensure elaborate plans are set up to bring forth a vibrant cooperative business model that promotes human dignity.

There should also be a candid reflection of the human resource working in the cooperatives as a successful cooperative movement cannot be attained without a knowledgeable work force. It is sad to note that in most counties, the department of cooperative is understaffed hence the staff overwork and perhaps do not meet their objectives.

Former president Uhuru Kenyatta addressing co-operators during last year’s Ushirika Day celebrations at KICC, Nairobi.

It’s my wish that the government reflects on the capability and empowerment of human resources in the sector.

May this year’s celebrations be a wakeup call for the government to audit their impact to the cooperative movement and where necessary, strive to ensure by next year the percentage of the impact is increased.

It’s my pleasure to wish all cooperators a happy Ushirika Day.

By Paul Ngugi

The writer is a post graduate student at the Cooperative University of Kenya.

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