The 27th International Cooperatives Day Celebrations 2021
On 3rd July 2021, Uganda Cooperative Alliance Ltd in partnership with Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives, the cooperative fraternity and Strategic Partners celebrated the 27th UN international Cooperatives Day under the theme “Rebuilding Better Together”.
This year’s Cooperatives Day celebrations were held virtually online and live on UBC T.V the National Broadcasting station and Urban T.V. to meet the current measures setup by government to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The event was opened by the General secretary UCA- Mr. Ivan Asiimwe, in his opening remarks, he thanked and partners who have generously contributed towards the celebration of international cooperatives day. In his statement the General secretary requested cooperatives across the country to use this occasion to spread the word on how a human centered business model sustained by cooperative values of social responsibility can respond to the immediate impact of COVID-19.
The event was officiated by the Minister of Trade Industry and Cooperative Hon. Francis Mwebesa together with Hon. Fredrick Gume Ngobi the State Minister for Cooperatives and Mr. Robert Bariyo Barigye the commissioner for cooperatives.
During the Live event on T.V and Online , the Minster Hon. Francis Mwebesa appreciated the role of cooperatives in fostering national unity and its for that reason the government has placed the cooperative sector at the heart of National development agenda.
The minister was confident that cooperatives will indeed rebuild a better together and Uganda will have testimonies of how cooperative fraternity can help communities become stronger in post pandemic world . In his conclusive remarks the minister encouraged cooperatives to acquire requisite knowledge of cooperatives ideology and philosophy So as to inform and educate the communities on cooperatives.
The state minister for Cooperatives Hon. Fredrick Gume appealed to the NGOS that are supporting cooperatives not to criticize the cooperatives but promote them. To the member cooperatives the state minster appealed to members not to exploit the gab brought about by the pandemic and must do business in consultation with their members he also believes that cooperatives can be ana engine to promote high quality products
In his speech the state minster also highlighted on the challenges in the policy and regulatory frame work in regards to contradicting laws regulating the financial cooperatives. On a positive side he noted that if cooperatives came together they can address some of these challenges conflicts and beauacratic tendencies.
The keynote speaker Dr. Fred Muhumuza a senior economist discussed on “The role of cooperatives in increasing opportunities for sustainable inclusive growth with in the frame work of the Parish Development Model”. In his presentation Dr. Muhumuza told the views that “cooperative structures allow communities to pool together their resources to solve problems, identify common goals and target the causes and symptoms of poverty”.
Stanbic Bank a key strategic partner with Uganda cooperative Alliance in supporting and capacity building for cooperatives across the country shared on Strategies for cooperatives survival and sustainability amidst covid-19”.
Other presenters were John Nuwagaba from Ankole coffee Producers cooperative Union a member Union for UCA who presented on “Cooperatives response to covid -19 crisis through solidarity and resilience”. And the final presentation on “The importance of health cooperative in times of crisis and during COVID 19 Pandemic” by Sara Murungi- Chief of party.