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ICA-Africa March 2020 Newsletter


This March edition of our newsletter specifically focuses on the cooperative responses to the Covid-19 crisis in Africa region, our contribution to the ILO COOP interview, #Coopsday theme and other cooperative development activities in Africa region.


 COVID-19 Pandemic.
ICA-Africa President’s Solidarity Message on COVID-19.

Following the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) worldwide, we would like to remind the cooperative movement in Africa of our cooperative values and principles and more so calling out for solidarity during this difficult moments.

As at April 6th, Africa had registered 6,265 confirmed cases in 45 countries as report by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

The pandemic has already affected our way of life and work as the cooperative movement in Africa and globally as stated in the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) President’s message. Economically, the COVID-19 has already created an economic and labour crisis from quantity of jobs, quality of work to effects on specific groups who are vulnerable to adverse labour market outcomes. The recent, assessment by the International Labour Organization on the impact of COVID-19 on the global world of work, states that the economic effects caused calls for an immediate and urgent measures for a decisive, coordinated and immediate response. 

As we continue monitoring and following the updates, recommendations and guidelines on essential preparatory and prevention measures in response to the pandemic; let us all continue to follow and observe the latest advice, protection tips and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), our governments and local authorities in the countries that we operate in. 

Your safety, as well as the safety of our cooperative members, is our highest priority. Let our actions demonstrate a firm commitment and bring us more closely in a united way in deploying appropriate resources to help maintain a healthy environment. 

Together we can overcome the pandemic!!

 Cooperatives Coping Measure to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperative in Africa region have developed measures and guidelines to cope with this pandemic.


Uganda Cooperative Alliance 
Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA) is an Umbrella organization for all registered Cooperatives in Uganda. UCA in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Uganda and other stakeholders, came up with the following measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Read More. The Bank of Uganda also issued the following  guidelines to the savings and credit cooperatives societies.
Health Partners- Uganda Office
Our Health Cooperative development team in Uganda used this Risk Communication and Community Engagement  guideline to establish two-way communication to know what cooperative stakeholders need even as that changes. We’re planning an SMS campaign based on what we learn. The team developed a communication tree of cooperative board members, coordinators, care providers and member group leaders to ensure our friends can learn what they need to know quickly and to help everyone avoid myths while maintaining mental health throughout this time.
National Alliance of Agriculture Cooperatives
The National Alliance of Agriculture Cooperatives in Uganda brief to the government of Uganda on a  strategy to support the agricultural sector during & after the Covid-19 crisis. Read More.

State Department of Cooperatoive Developmment
The State Department of Cooperative Development came up with some guidance on payment of dividends and interest to members’ deposits. The Department also appointed Eng. Francis Kamande as the Chairperson to the Cooperative Coronavirus Response Committee (CCRC).
Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives
Kenya Union of Saving and Credit Cooperatives (KUSCCO) through a press release urged all saving and credit cooperative societies to continue serving their members through leveraging on available online platforms to minimize and/or avoid physical interactions.
The Cooperative Bank of Kenya
The Cooperative Bank of Kenya has  donated USD 1,000,000 to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund to fight the pandemic in Kenya. The contribution is expected to support the source of critical life-saving medical supplies and equipment especially ventilators.
AWACH SACCO has taken the following actions to ensure that they can still support their members as best as possible in this unprecedented situation.
  • - We have supplied the necessary kits that prevent the virus for our staff and others.
  • - We are giving all our service to members except big amount of loan disbursement. But, emergency loan we are managing.
  • - We have given two months grace period for loan borrowers.
  • - We are facilitating withdrawal members' saving with a very short time when they asked.
  • - We have given one month leave for employees who are pregnant, old aged and come from far place. But, the rest are working by shift.
  • - We are following our staff how they keep their physical distance when they are giving service for our members.
  • - We have facilitated transport for our employees.

- We are giving information day to day for our members and staffs about the current situation and how they protect themselves form COVID - 19 virus via our social media.


Associacao Mocambicana Para Promocao Do Cooperativismo Moderno (AMPCM) have put a sanitary gel dispenser at the entrance door, it is mandatory to wash your hands before entering! There are still only 7 cases in Mozambique but they acquired surgical gloves and masks, because they fear that they will soon be quarantined. We are expecting to see the situation evolve. We put on Facebook the corona virus prevention rules. but all this is quite insufficient. Public transport has been identified as the main source of spread in Mozambique.
Sure, this disease has affected us a lot. Life has completely changed and adjustment is difficult. Zimbabwe National Association of Housing Cooperatives (ZINAHCO), joined the other cooperative sectors at National level and had a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Cooperatives where more information was received about the disease. Topping the Agenda list was preventative measures.
After this meeting, we then disseminate the information to our members throughout the country. We also opened social groups like WhatsApp where members are encouraging and reminding each other on the rangers of this disease and the preventative measures. This is effective and is being used gainfully. We requested that Government make it priority areas, the Communities without enough water and provide water through tankers. We also encouraged our Members to observe the 21 days lockdown.
Tunisie Coop wants to help small holder farmers to sell their products and thus help cooperators and consumers in Tunisia. Read more.
L’association Acteurs Pour une Economie Solidaire au Togo (APES) in collaborations with Women and Youth for Social and Solidarity Economy (WYSSE) initiative to launched activities of the Health and Solidarity Cooperative "Dikpendi / Minodoo" that will target more than 4,500 cooperative workers in Togo. Read More.

ICA-Africa Contributes to the ILO COOP 100 Interview series.
ILO COOP 100 Interview series features past and present ILO colleagues and key partners who have closely engaged with the ILO's work on cooperatives and the wider social and solidarity economy (SSE). The interviews reflect on their experience and contributions in the past and shares their thoughts on the future of cooperatives and the SSE in a changing world of work. For this issue, we interviewed Sifa Chiyoge, the Director of International Cooperative Alliance Africa region. She reflected on her years of work on cooperatives, including with governments, higher education institutions, NGOs as well as with the cooperative movement in the region. She shared with us her thoughts on the historical trajectory of cooperatives in Africa, priorities, challenges and prospects in the face of the crises and changes taking place in the world of work. Watch the Interview.
Cooperative Activities
Training: Activation of Agricultural Cooperatives in the Elimination of Child Labour.
A new ILO training programme on activating agricultural cooperatives in the elimination of child labour piloted in Tanzania. The new training programme was developed to strengthen the capacities of cooperatives as part of ILO’s projects on the elimination of child labour in multiple African countries. Read More.

Building Institutional Capacities of Farmer Organizations Under Agriculture Cluster Development.
Uganda Cooperative Alliance  in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries with support from World Bank  have been contracted to  give technical assistance to build institutional capacities of farmer organizations under Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP). The purpose of the project is to increase productivity, production and marketable volumes of rice, maize, beans, cassava and coffee commodities in 42 districts. Currently the project is under implementation in 42 districts. In the 42 districts, it targets to work with 450,000 households organized in 300 Area Commodity Cooperative enterprises.

The project is also aimed at supporting the formation, growth and development of farmer groups into strong, sustainable and commercially viable entities or cooperatives. Facilitate the establishment and strengthening of financial and business management structures and systems in the participating farmer organisations especially the high-level farmer organizations (HLFOs) so that Farmer organizations (FOs) develop business plans, have structures to allow bulking and collective marketing as well as accompanying financial management capability.
Coopsday Theme

International Day of Cooperatives 2020 Theme Unveiled.

The theme of the International Day of Cooperatives 2020 is COOPERATIVES FOR CLIMATE ACTION. We are inviting the global cooperative community to continue pushing for actions that will address climate change. This critical situation is putting lives and livelihoods at risk, disrupting vital ecosystems for people and the planet.
Cooperatives worldwide can take this opportunity to show leadership and share their cooperative values in combating this global issue. A Cooperator’s Communications Guide will soon be available to help cooperatives use this day to illustrate the importance of taking action to battle climate change. Read more.

Useful Link:

  1. The Africa Co-operative Development Strategy 2017-2020

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