Senegal: L'Union Regionale des Cooperatives de Dakar, INFO-COOP, July 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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                         July, 1996

     (Source: INFO-COOP, Issue No.9, July, 1996, p.27-28)

                          SENEGAL
          L'Union Regionale des Cooperatives de Dakar
               Facts and figures about URCAD.
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1.   Presentation 
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The Regional Union of Artisanal Cooperatives of Dakar (URCAD)
was set up on the 12th of September 1988. 

It includes at present about thirty artisanal co-operatives
with an average membership of 50 each. 

Various guilds are represented: jewelry-making, weaving,
carpentry, house building, shoemaking, basketry, leather
working, artisanal processing of fish products, dyeing, 
sewing, binding, etc. 

2.   Objectives 
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The main objective of the URCAD is to provide its affiliated
member organisations with  the following services: 

-    Timely supply of raw materials at a reasonable cost;

-    Access to bank credit or other financing sources;

-    Placing of products and securing markets for services
     co-operatives;

-    Education and training of its members;

-    Representation at regional and departmental
     consultations.


3.   Functioning
----------------
URCAD is managed by a management committee of 15 members who
act under the General Assembly (GA).

The Board meets every month at the URCAD's head office 
located at 11, Route du Front de terre, Dakar. 

4.   Achievements & Projects
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4.1  Achievements:

*    URCAD is exemplary as concerns its organisation. The
     Board members are aware of their duties, roles and
     responsibilities. Consequently, the monthly meetings of
     the Management Committee are business oriented and give
     rise to fruitful exchange of information;

*    URCAD has put in place a system for the collection and
     management of the savings of the artisans, called  Saving
     and credit Union;  

*    The setting up of this Union is part of the initiatives
     of the Union to partly solve the financing problems of
     the artisans;

*    In collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation,
     URCAD organised training seminars for women dyers of
     Dakar;

*    URCAD also worked with The Association for Counselling
     and Action (ACA)  for the training of its members in
     management and simplified book keeping.

4.2  Projects
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Presently, URCAD is assisting in the emergence of unions of
regional artisanal co-operatives in the other regions, and
also in the setting up of a national union of  artisanal
cooperatives of Senegal thanks to the financial support of
ICA/ROWA and the technical support of the Department of
Agriculture.

The Union also established links with the International
Organisation of Industrial and Service Producers' Co-
operatives( CICOPA), for the design and the financing of a
major project for artisanal cooperatives of Senegal. In the
future, URCAD intends:

-    to set up a technical and vocational training centre for
     the artisans;

-    set up a unit for the marketing of  the produce of the
     affiliated cooperatives and the search for financing or
     partners;

-    set up a central purchasing department for each guild.

5.   Constraints 
----------------
URCAD meets a number of problems in the implementation of its
activities, having mainly to do  with:

*    the illiteracy of the majority of its members;

*    the lack of professional skills of its members;

*    the lack of financial means.

The establishment of the technical and vocational centre, the
development of the saving and credit Union  and the
establishment of relations with external partners will
hopefully alleviate these constraints.

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Name:                    Union Regionale des Cooperatives
                         Artisanales de Dakar     
Address:                 11, Route de Front de terre, Dakar 
Main activity:           Savings and credit/ training  
Date of Establishment:   12 September 1988   
Primary Co-operatives:   30   
Individual Members:      about  1500    
Chairman of MC:          Mot Awa DIOP