~ Welcome to the daily newsletter of the International Cooperative Alliance Global Conference! ~

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Welcome to Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, and host of the 2019 ICA Global Conference 'Cooperatives for Development'. We hope that you enjoyed the opening event last night and are looking forward to a day of conversations, learning and discovery.

In this first of four daily conference emails, we look at the highlights of the opening ceremony, hear from the president of ICA Africa and learn more about cooperatives in this beautiful country.

  Read more: Interview with ICA Africa Leaders

The opening ceremony

Over 1,000 people from 95 countries around the globe have gathered in Kigali, Rwanda's capital, for a week of learning. The opening ceremony included addresses from Ariel Guarco (President of the International Cooperative Alliance) and Prof Anastase Shyaka (Rwandan Minister for Local Government), who urged delegates to use the conference as an opportunity to "make our voices heard on the international scene in favour of a stronger, more united and more open world".

  Read more: Kigali welcomes cooperators from around the world

Click here for more images from the opening ceremony

A weekend full of activities

Over the weekend, Kigali hosted over 20 meetings of representatives from regional and sectoral cooperative organisations and ICA committees, as well as forums around research, development, youth and gender equality. 

Read more: Sectoral updates

In the next daily newsletters, we will be sharing more info on some of the other events that took place at the weekend. Stay tuned!

Click here to see pictures from the weekend – more to come!


Feminism in the XXI century

“Feminism defends the principle of equal rights between women and men to achieve a society in which no one is left behind” 
Maria Eugenia Pérez Zea, Chair of the Gender Equality Committee
of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) 

Across the world cooperatives in different sectors are working to promote gender equality in their enterprises and communities. Some of these case studies were showcased on Saturday, 12 October, during a seminar on cooperatives and feminism in the 21st century. The seminar was organised by the Gender Equality Committee of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).

Read more: Feminism in the XXI century


A snapshot of coops in Rwanda

Rwanda is home to close to 10,000 cooperatives, operating in everything from agriculture and handicrafts to housing and transport. According to government statistics from 2019, 43% of Rwandese aged 16 or over are members of a coop – largely due to concentrated efforts from the Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) to grow the sector over the last 13 years. The RCA is the public institution in charge of the promotion, registration and regulation of cooperatives in the country where cooperatives are seen as an instrumental part of achieving Rwanda’s Vision 2020 agenda. 
Read more: Cooperatives in Rwanda – an overview
Read more: Cooperatives in Rwanda – two case studies


What is happening today?

Today will be dedicated to the activities of #coops4dev – the ICA-EU Partnership which aims to strengthen the cooperative movement as a development actor.

The institutional opening will include a discussion between Thacienne Mutezinka (president of the National Cooperative Confederation of Rwanda), Ariel Guarco (ICA President), Japheth Magomere (ICA Africa President) and Nicola Bellomo (ambassador of the delegation of the European Union to Rwanda). There will also be a video message from Daniela Bas (Director of The United Nations DESA Division For Inclusive Social Development).

After that, we will have the honour to listen to a keynote by Vandana Shiva (Director of the International Forum on Globalization) on how cooperatives can help to achieve a more solidarity-based and participatory society.

In the beginning of afternoon, four parallel sessions will explore the role of cooperatives in achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda. The significance of multi-stakeholder partnerships (SDG17) will be a cross-cutting theme, while each session will deal with a theme that is intrinsically linked to sustainable development: tackling inequalities (SDG10), women’s empowerment (SDG5), innovation in entrepreneurship (SDG8) and inclusive ethical value chains (SDG12).

Later on, speakers will be discussing how to promote the preservation of the environment in Africa and beyond. To close the day, the Coop Cinema will showcase a series of short films produced by aroundtheworld.coop, telling cooperative stories from across the globe.

Read more: Find the full conference programme online here
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This newsletter is created in partnership between the
International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and Co-operative News.
This newsletter is created in partnership between the
International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and Co-operative News.
Copyright © 2019 International Cooperative Alliance