World Overview - the Americas (1998)

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This document has been made available in electronic
format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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March, 1998
(Source: ICA News, Issue No.1/1998-pp.5-6)


World Overview - The Americas
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BRAZIL
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Sustainable Development in the Amazon
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Some 200 co-operative and community leaders from the nine countries
of the Amazon River basin met in Manaus, Brazil, in December to discuss
programmes of economic and social development based on the sustainable
use of natural resources. Priority themes were the marketing of alternative
products, eco-tourism, fish-handling, agro-forestry, and applied research.

The seminar organisers, the ICA Project Office in Brazil and the
Organization of Co-operatives of Brazil, were asked by the participants
to organise a follow-up meeting next year.

Further information is available from Celso Claro de Oliveira at the
OCB-ICA office in Brasilia (fax +55-61-321 6431).

- (Source: Informativo OCB, September 1997)

Brazilian Co-operative Congress
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The Organisation of Co-operatives of Brazil (OCB) organised a National
Co-operative Congress in November 1997 to discuss changes in
organisational, managerial, and legislative issues resulting from the current
national and international economic environment.

It is the first time that Brazilian co-operatives have organised a national
Congress since 1988 when, under the chairmanship of Roberto Rodrigues,
they succeeded in amending the country's constitution to guarantee the
independence of co-operatives.

- (Source: Informativo OCB, September 1997)

OCB Appoints new Executive Director
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The OCB President, Dejandir Dalpasquale, has announced the appointment
of Amilcar Gramacho as Executive Director of the country's apex
co-operative body. He succeeds Americo Utumi, who will take over the
newly-created position as Chief of Staff in Brazil for Roberto Rodrigues,
the newly-elected ICA President.

- (Source: Informativo OCB, September 1997)

Support for Agricultural Co-operatives
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The Organization of Co-operatives of Brazil (OCB) has entered into an
agreement with the Brazilian Government to establish an Agricultural
Co-operatives Revitalization Programme (RECOOP).

The main objective of the programme is to improve the capitalisation of
agricultural co-operatives.  Eligible co-operatives will be chosen on the
basis of an analysis of their growth potential as set out in a development
project.  Financing is expected to begin in the second half of 1998.

- (Source: OCB)

International Study Visit
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The UK-based Building and Social Housing Foundation  is organising
a 5 day study visit to the World Habitat Award Winning project of Urban
Management in Curitiba City, Brazil from 22 - 26 June 1998.

This city-wide project is a shining example of how an imaginative and
innovative city planning approach has created a sustainable urban
environment and a strong sense of citizenship. Housing provision is an
integral part of urban development and brings together a range of innovative
programmes. World famous public transportation and waste management
systems have earned the city its reputation as one of the most sustainable cities on earth.

Bursaries may be available to help meet the travel and accommodation costs
of representatives from developing countries who wish to participate in this
study visit.

Bursary application forms and further details can be obtained from Mrs
Diane Diacon, Building and Social Housing Foundation Tel: 44 0 1530
510444, Fax: 44 0 1530 510332, 
E-mail: 100567.3433@compuserve.com

- (Source: Building and Social Housing Foundation, Leicestershire, UK,
December 1997)


CANADA
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CDF Celebrates Half a Century
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The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada is 50 years old this
year. To mark the occasion, CDF is launching an anniversary appeal asking
co-operatives, credit unions and individuals across the country for their
support.

In partnership with the Canadian Co-operative Association, CDF assistance
is channelled to co-op and credit union projects around the world. Through
CDF, Canadian organisations and individuals prove their commitment to the
global co-operative family and, in turn, secure generous funding from the
Canadian government through the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA).

For more information contact Angela Splinter at CCA:  Tel: (613) 567-0658

- (Source: Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, Dec. 1997)


Deep Roots New Growth
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Canada's foremost event for co-op and credit union people from every
region and sector is the Congress organised annually by the Canadian
Co-operative Association (CCA). This year's event entitled Co-operative
Leadership,  Deep Roots, New Growth will take place in Winnipeg from
23 - 26 June, 1998. 

CCA has assembled a roster of dynamic keynote speakers and workshop
leaders to challenge and inspire and, as an added bonus, will be offering
sessions for special interest or professional groups, including: youth,
CEOs, presidents, directors, communicators, information specialists,
financial and government affairs specialists.

For programme or registration details contact the CCA, 275 Bank Street,
Suite 400, Ottawa, ON K2P 2L6;  Fax: (613) 567-0658; e-mail:
congress@coopcca.com; web site: www.coopcca.com

- (Source:CCA Info)


SWP Reports Landmark Year
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Canada's largest co-operative, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, increased its net
earnings in 1996 by 48 percent to 48.4 million Canadian dollars. It also
successfully completed its conversion into a "publicly-traded co-operative".

Under its equity conversion programme, existing member share capital was
converted into Class A (voting) and Class B (non-voting) shares. The Class
B shares, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, increased in value during
the year. Class A shares are held only by active farmer-members in order to
maintain member control. Based on revenues, SWP is now the 54th largest
company in Canada.

- (Source: Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Annual Report, 1996)


URUGUAY
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New Co-operative Bank Established 
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The ICA member organisation ACAC (Association of Savings and Credit
Co-operatives) has become the majority shareholder in a newly-incorporated
Co-operative Bank called Banco ACAC S.A. The other shareholder is
France's Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole. ACAC, whose president
remains Ricardo Stirling, will continue its operations as a separate
organisation.

USA
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1998 Festival of America's Co-operatives
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The theme for this year's Festival of America's Co-operatives will be
Celebrating Economic Opportunity for Every American. NCBA will host
this fourth annual festival in Washington, D.C. at the Banquet Rooms of
Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. The festival will feature
display booths of co-operatives of all kinds, refreshments and many
opportunities to meet Members of Congress and their staff. Further
information available from Richard Dines at (202) 383-5442 or by e-mail
at rdines@ncba.org.

-(Source: Co-operative Business Journal, December 1977)

Future Co-op Leaders Conference
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NCBA will sponsor the 7th annual Future Co-op Leaders Conference
from 22-25 April in Washington, D.C. Designed to develop co-operative
leadership in order to build a stronger co-operative community, the
programme provides scholarships for staff, directors and members of
co-operatives to attend a training and educational event held annually in
Washington, DC.

The programme will include participation in the 1998 Co-operative
Conference including the annual meetings of the National Co-operative
Business Association and the National Co-operative Bank, "The Festival
of America's Co-operatives" and leadership workshops on co-operative
issues. Applicants must be recommended by their co-operative and there is
a limit of one applicant per co-operative. Applications will be mailed to
NCBA members in early January. For additional information or
applications, call Leta Mach at (202) 638-6222 or send an e-mail to
1mach@ncba.org. The application deadline is 6 March 1998. 

- (Source: Co-operative Business Journal, December 1977)