August 17, 2022

Sacco Review|The Leading Newspaper for Co-operative Movement in Kenya

The Leading Newspaper for Co-operative Movement in Kenya

What “Madaraka” Day means to kenya’s cooperative movement

Happy 59th Madaraka Day.

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By Our Reporter

The President led the nation in celebrating the 59th Madaraka Day at the newly-rehabilitated Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi yesterday, 1st June 2022.

On that historic occasion, the head of state enumerated the achievements of his administration as it enters home stretch..

However, one milestone that stood out is the govt’s expansion of digital space during president Uhuru’s tenure that has substantially enhanced service delivery to the citizens via huduma centers and eCitizen platform.

Without doubt, the creation of the stand-alone ICT Ministry deserves praise for revolutionizing the manner in which govt operates in the new world driven by ICT.

That noted, I wonder to what extent the country’s cooperative movement has taken advantage of the available ICT infrastructure to expand the scope of Socio-Economic activities to improve the living conditions of their members and the citizenry in general..

Specifically, how has the cooperative sector embraced technology to promote education, training and information as envisaged in the universal cooperative principle No. 5?

Am nevertheless alive to the fact that many cooperatives have taken measures to adopt virtual/hybrid meetings following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 that made it impossible to hold physical meetings

In his address to the nation yesterday, the president revealed that following the liberalisation of airwaves , the number of private TV stations had short up from 14 to 130 in 2013 and 2022 respectively. 

Unfortunately, despite the expansion of the digital space by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK), the country’s cooperative sector has not found it necessary to launch their own media house to facilitate effective communication with their members and the public at large!

I believe it is now high time the cooperative sector took the initiative of establishing a media house, ie Radio and Television station(s) wholly-owned and managed by the cooperative fraternity.

In my view, , the Cooperative University of Kenya could run away with this very viable idea as an independent cost-centre.

Such a platform would make it possible for cooperatives to share knowledge and exchange experiences locally and beyond ..

I imagine if we had an “USHIRIKA TV” up and running, cooperators from the whole country would follow the proceedings during the forthcoming Ushirika Day celebrations on 2nd July from the comfort of their houses!

Besides, they could have the privilege of watching enriching news and documentaries on cooperatives from around the globe in real time!

Given that cooperative stakeholders are scattered in almost all sectors, the said media house would, in the fullness of time, rival the mainstream media houses that currently dominate airwaves in the country. 

The source of funds to establish such an investment could include, but not limited to, purchase of shares by cooperatives and willing individual cooperators. 

To kickstart the project, CUK could visit Kenyatta University on a fact-finding mission to understand how they set up the KU TV which obviously elevated KU University’s profile among its peers. 

This is, therefore, a challenge to the entire stakeholders to take full advantage of the enabling environment to revolutionise the sector in view of the enabling environment created by the govt.

If industry players do not see this low-hanging fruit, some entrepreneurs will discover this potential and run away with it and, in the process, mint billions from the vulnerable cooperatives.  

Let the establishment of Ushirika TV/Radio stations be our landmark project as cooperators celebrate 59th MADARAKA or SELF RULE celebration going forward.