Address of the Regional Council President
A year has already passed since the organisation of our second Africa Regional Assembly. I am honoured and privileged to thank you once again for your great mobilisation on the occasion of this two-yearly event, which was for the second time brilliantly organised by our Regional Council. As a prelude to this Regional Assembly, we successively held:
It is up to us today, within each of our unions, to take a retrospective look at the conclusions of our seminar and the commitments contained in our four-year plan related to our achievements and future actions. The benefit of this annual self- evaluation is that we will manage to re-centre and re-adjust our resources and efforts to better reach our goals.
For reasons you are already aware of, our regional office was moved to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. On behalf of you all, dear friends and co-operators, it is a pleasure for me to commend the great generosity, ardour and effort put forth by the Regional Director and his personnel in achieving this relocation. For the personnel who left us due to this move, we hope they will find here the evidence of our gratitude, our acknowledgment and our sympathy for the various and numerous services they rendered with self-sacrifice and devotion for all their years spent with Co-operative Movement of West Africa.
Considering their sacrifice and devotion, we must mobilise to implement the conclusions of our seminar and achieve the goals contained in our four-year plan. What have we been able to convey, arouse, communicate and disseminate as useful information and training? What communication strategies did we use to better establish our education policies? What were the targets which benefited from all these actions? What are the expected results? What is the knowledge acquired?
Speaking of targets, what have we been able to achieve regarding the promotion of women and youth in our grassroots and higher level organisations? I would like to emphasise my satisfaction with the FECECAM women, who, like those in the UNCAS network, created a committee. Women in the other unions must work in the same direction as their sisters of FECECAM in order to contribute to and support the carrying out of our resolution related to the creation of an ICA Women's Committee for West Africa. Of course, for some unions the road is long because it is filled with obstacles represented by:
This is the reason why we are inviting the unions to integrate the Gender Approach in their training and sensitisation strategies. Implementing the seminar conclusions implies, on our part, the mobilisation of our internal human and financial resources. This mobilisation, if planned, must have the objective of a periodical evaluation for its execution and the use of available resources. We have to find a framework for sharing credit and savings experiences in our organisations.
We also planned to develop an inter-regional network for commercial exchanges. It is imperative to begin the surveys for creating a data base on stocks and prices. We must also look for and establish co-operation in the mobilisation mechanisms for funding the collection and the marketing of these.
Other unions have emerged in many associative and co-operative sectors in our various countries. It is our duty to provide them with information on the existence of our organisation and to welcome them whenever they express the desire to join. I keep hoping to welcome into our organisation, in the near future, co-operative and associative organisations from Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, and hopefully with the coming of peace, those of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Our Regional Council must also build a bridge between the South/South Co-operation and co-operative organisations from Arab Africa, such as Morocco, Tunisia, etc.
Dear friends and co-operators, the principles and ideals of co-operation and solidarity which gather us under the banner of the International Co-operative Alliance must serve as ferment for the achievement of our self-development.
Member of the ICA Board
Dakar, July 1997