News from the Regions (1996)

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    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
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                         October, 1996

               (Source : ICA News 4-5/1996, pp.4-5, 9)

                      New from the Regions
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AFRICA
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African Regional  Assembly
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The Second ICA Regional Assembly for Africa was held in Dakar,
Senegal, on 16 August under the chairmanship of Bernard
Wolimbwa, ICA Vice-President. It was preceded by a seminar on
Education, Training, Communication and Information, involving
participants from across Africa, and by a strategic planning
session for the Regional Office for West Africa (ROWA).

The Regional Assembly endorsed the four-year Regional
Development Plan prepared by the Regional Office for East,
Central and Southern Africa, as well as the guidelines for
ROWA's new four-year programme.

It also welcomed the offer by ICA's Egyptian member
organizations to provide facilities for a locally-financed
liaison office for North Africa, which could be opened in 1997
to assist the two existing regional offices to extend their
services northwards.

The Assembly approved the establishment of a new pan-African
Agricultural Committee, as well as a Women's Committee for the
West African region. During the West African Regional Council,
which preceded the Regional Assembly, the ICA-Director General
informed the Assembly that, as part of ICA's efforts to reduce
operating costs in Africa, while maintaining its presence in
both the sub-regions, serious consideration is being given to
transferring the Regional Office for West Africa from Abidjan
to a less expensive location. The Regional Director, A.S.
Kibora, will keep members informed of progress.

The  Assembly accepted the offer from the Zambian Co-operative
Federation to hold the 1998 assembly in Lusaka when, according
to the agreement between the two regions, a representative
from West Africa will be nominated as ICA Vice-President for
Africa.

EUROPE
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Hungary to Host Regional Assembly
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Over 200 delegates from 40 countries will gather at the
Agro-Hotel, Budapest from October 24 to 30 for the European
Regional Assembly and associated meetings. The main issues for
discussion will be East West Collaboration and Corporate
Governance and Management Control Systems in European
Co-operatives. Meetings of the Specialised Bodies will precede
the Regional Meetings.

ICA to Launch Development Fund
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A Development fund for Co-ops in the Third and former
Communist Worlds will be launched in Budapest. The ICA Project
Development annual budget amounts to some $10 million; the
fund will channel these resources, deriving from the leading
Co-operative Movements and development agencies of Europe,
North America and Japan. The ICA is appealing to its members
to supplement this core funding by further contributions.


ASIA-PACIFIC
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Management Training Course
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The eleventh ICA/Japan Training Course for Strengthening
Management of Agricultural Co-operatives in Asia will be held
from 4 November 1996 to 25 April, 1997, in India, Sri Lanka
and Japan. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
(MAFF) of the Government of Japan will continue to fund this
project.

Programmes for Asian Women Leaders
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The sixth ICA/Japan Training Course for Rural Women Leaders of
Agricultural Co-operatives in Asia will be held at the
Institute for the Development of Agricultural Co-operation in
Asia (IDACA), Tokyo, Japan from October 20 to November 16,
1996. Six participants, two each from Indonesia, Malaysia and
Pakistan, will attend.

A regional conference of top level women farm leaders of
agricultural co-operatives will be organized in Tokyo from 20-
26 October, 1996, jointly by the ICA, IDACA  and the Central
Union of Agricultural Co-operatives of Japan (JA ZENCHU). 

Co-operative Business Development
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The third ICA/NACF regional seminar on Agricultural
Co-operative Business Development, with special reference to
Korean Experience' was held at the Agricultural Co-operative
College near Seoul on last May. Participants  came from China,
India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines and
Vietnam.

THE AMERICAS
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San Jose : World Capital to the Co-op Movement 
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The ICA Regional Office for the Americas is preparing a series
of events which will make San Jose the Co-operative Movement's
capital city, given the importance of the themes addressed and
the number of delegates expected. Hundreds of co-operators
will attend, the majority from the Americas' region, but with
delegations from other regions as well. This is a summary of
the events to be held:

A continental forum of women co-operators will be held from 18
- 19 November with the theme: "How many are we and what do we
want?"  This Forum will open a wide and genuine space to women
co-operators from the Americas' continent to discuss their
position and expectations regarding the co-operative movement.
Experts on the topic will state the gender outlook and its
projection towards the next millennium.

The second event is the 1996 Regional Conference 
"Deglobalization:  Global Challenge - Local Markets.... the
Co-operative Strategy" to be held 20-22 November. The aim is
to strengthen both the knowledge on the globalization process
and the alternative ways to face it through the local markets.

Finally, the Regional Assembly of the Americas will take place
23 November and its main goal is the approval of the
International Co-operative Alliance Strategy Plan for 1996 -
2000.

World Bank Accord with OCB/ICA
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ICA and OCB have signed an agreement with the World Bank to
finance projects aimed at small Brazilian producers in the co-
operative sector. As per the agreement, resources will be
transferred to co-operatives in the states where the project
is to be developed. Their federations will be in charge of
providing technical assistance, input distribution, marketing
and credit for the production and agricultural industries.

USA/Brazil Co-operative Venture
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Blue Diamond, one of the largest US co-operatives engaged in
the commercialization of almonds and nuts sent a mission to
Brazil last July to formalize an agreement with OCB/ICA. The
project includes research, planting systematization,
technology and commercialization of cashew and Brazil nuts.