Report from East, Central and Southern Africa Region

TITLE:    Report from East, Central and Southern Africa Region

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

     (Source: Review of International Co-operation,
     Vol.89, No.3/1996, p.42-44)

              East, Central and Southern Africa 
                      Vincent Lubasi

ROECSA Activities
The Regional Office carried out the following activities to
ensure that interests of co-operators are promoted and
protected to strengthen the value of the Office as a network. 
The activities included the following:

 Attendance and participation at Annual General Meetings
of member organisations and their affiliates. The Office
gets to learn about the central concerns of it's members
first hand. It is also an opportunity for the Office to
explain its work to a wider audience of key decision

 Active contact and collaboration with development 
partners and agencies relevant to the objectives of
co-operation. Strong ties were maintained  with the
Swedish Co-operative Centre (SCC), Canadian Co-operative
Association (CCA), Rabobank Foundation of Holland, The
Royal Norwegian Society for Development and UN agencies 
such as the ILO and FAO.

 Guidance and advice in building up of national
co-operative structures.

 Organising and running fora to bring together governments
and co-operatives in a process of dialogue and mutual

  HRD activities including seminars, workshops, networking
and on-the-job-attachments for leaders and employees, 

  Studies and consultancies as part of technical services.

The 5th African Ministerial Co-operative Conference

After the 36th Regional Council meeting a Conference was held
in Mauritius from the 22nd to the 25th of May, 1996, for
Ministers responsible for Co-operative Development and
Co-operative Leaders. Over one hundred delegates from
Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South
Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
attended the Conference. It was agreed that the coming of
liberalisation did not remove the need for partnership between
co-operatives and the state.

Earlier, in March 1996, Commissioners of Co-operatives and
Chief Executive Officers of member organisations had met in
Lusaka, Zambia, to review progress made in the 1985/95
Regional Co-operative Development Decade. The report of the
meeting formed the main basis for the work of the Ministerial

The South African Co-operative Initiative
The National Co-operative Association of South Africa (NCASA)
was formed on 14th June, 1996. This came after two years of
intense and extensive negotiations in which the Regional
Office played a key role. In this initiative the Regional
Office was supported by CCA.

A key step towards the establishment of NCASA was the South
African Co-operative Forum which was held on 22 - 26 October,
1995. At the forum presentations were made about different
co-operative sectors in the country.

The Regional Office Strategic Plan
The Regional Office Strategic Plan for the five years
1995-2000 has been finalised.  The process involved member
organisations, Regional Council, ICA Head Office and 

Study on the Restructuring of the Uganda Co-operative Movement
This study was carried out during February 1996 at the request
of the Uganda Co-operative Alliance. The main objective was to
propose a restructuring of the co-operative movement in Uganda
so as to make it genuinely member-driven, competitive,
independent and sustainable.

Annual Planning and Consultation Meetings
Annual Planning Meetings with the Head Office and Partner
representatives were held in Nairobi, Cape Town and recently
in Mauritius. The last meeting agreed on the Regional Office
work plans and budgets for July 1995 to December 1996 as well
as for the 1997 calendar year. 

Data Bank and Information
The Office collects data on co-operatives in the region.  The
data is useful in helping monitor their development and also
in deciding on any intervention indicated, including

Co-operative Insurance Development
The Regional Office, in collaboration with ICMIF,  aims at
assisting in the formation of co-operative insurance
organisations where they do not exist. Where they already
exist, they are helped to improve their efficiency and
effectiveness through business and strategic plans.

The provisional Botswana Co-operative Insurance Society is now
registered and called Insurance Broking Co-operative Society.
The Regional Office helped to set up the Mauritius
Co-operative Insurance Agency. In West Africa a consultancy
was carried out for the Ghana Allied Workers Co-operative
Insurance (GAWCIL)

Human Resource Development
The Regional Office emphasises HRD as a core activity. It is
also recognised as a service activity that underlines all ICA
work.Organisationally, HRD activities are carried out within
every project. At the same time, there are some HRD activities
which are planned and implemented specifically.

The Office organised a seminar on business re-engineering to
equip member organisation Chief Executive Officers with some
of the latest business skills in managing change. The theme of
the seminar was "Coop 2000 - Transforming your Organisations
for a Better Future".

Co-operative Banking
The Banking, Savings and Credit Project was evaluated in
November/December, 1995. The team visited Kenya, Tanzania and
Zambia. The evaluation was very positive and the mission
recommended that the project continue and be transformed into
a permanent unit of the Office. Despite the recommendation,
the project supported by the Rabobank Foundation ended on 30th
June, 1996.

The Office gave priority to the development of co-operative
banking in Tanzania so that the experience gained could be
used elsewhere in the region. A local co-operative bank for
Kilimanjaro region has been registered and was recently opened
by the President of Tanzania, Mr. Benjamin William Mkapa. In
Zambia, the Office has been facilitating re-structuring of the
Co-operative Finance sector, especially after the Co-operative
Bank closed after a "run" on the Bank in December, 1995.

Trade Facilitation
Recognising the importance of trade to its members the Office
has disseminated trade information it gathers. In 1995 it
linked maize marketing co-operatives in Tanzania to markets in
Zambia and South Africa. As result more than 100,000 tons were
traded. The Office has also designed an export/import
information package to help in identifying availability and
demand for products.