Cooperatives & Communities

2024 arrivals: The ICA welcomes new member from Saudi Arabia

BRUSSELS, January 23, 2024 – The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development from Saudi Arabia joined the International Cooperative Alliance [ICA] in December 2023 as an Associate Member.

A government entity, the Ministry is responsible for formulating labour policies as well as all matters related to social affairs and development programmes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry also includes a Department of Cooperative Associations. The country is home to 419 cooperatives which are registered with the Ministry.

The Ministry has joined the ICA to connect and collaborate with cooperative organisations and professionals from around the world, gain access to a wealth of resources, publications, research papers, and case studies related to cooperatives, and participate in training programmes, workshops, and educational events aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of cooperative professionals.

The Ministry also believes the ICA membership contributes to the global visibility and recognition of cooperatives as a sustainable and impactful business model.

The ICA has now 300 member organisations of which 262 are Full Members and 38 are Associate Members from 103 countries.

Meanwhile, the 16th Africa Regional Assembly and Conference took place on November 14 and 15, 2023, at the Abuja Continental Hotel in Nigeria under the theme, “Cooperatives for a Sustainable Africa”.

Convened by ICA-Africa, the event brought together cooperative leaders, stakeholders, experts and policymakers to collaboratively explore and strategise around sustainability initiatives across the continent. The conference explored the role of cooperatives in promoting inclusive development, empowered communities, and resilient and sustainable African economies.

The regional conference consisted of plenary sessions and interactive panel discussions, as well as opportunities for networking, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

Delegates also heard from ICA-Africa Regional Director, Dr Chiyoge B. Sifa, and ICA-Africa President, High Chief Ayeola Oriyomi.

Participants then presented research findings, case studies, and innovative ideas related to cooperatives and sustainable development in Africa. Presentations focused on three key areas:

  • Ways cooperatives in Africa are fostering sustainable livelihood and development in Africa.
  • Innovative solutions by cooperatives to promote peace and development for a sustainable Africa.
  • Fostering partnerships and collaborations between cooperatives, governments, civil society organisations, and international development agencies to support sustainable development in Africa.

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