Leaders of boda-boda cooperatives within Kampala and neighboring areas have called for routine training of cooperatives and their members in cooperative-best practices to enable the long-term survival of cooperative societies.
At the second meeting of Chairpersons of cooperatives held at Jeremy gardens in Kampala last month, Amir Sekulima, the Chairperson of the Kampala Boda- Boda Industry – an association of bodaboda operators across Kampala’s 5 divisions and the treasurer of Kampala Civic Centre boda-boda Transporters Cooperative(KCCBT), noted that KCCBT was offering its best to train other cooperatives about how cooperatives should be run, having themselves benefited from training by the Uhuru Institute for Social Development.
The Uhuru Institute for Social Development is a social enterprise that supports cooperatives across the country by offering regular training and offering other social support interventions like affordable loans.
Now, Amir says they’re determined to pass on the same knowledge acquired to other boda-bodas within Kampala, most of whom belong to cooperatives.
“We need to help cooperatives in bad shape to gain certain managerial skills like we did, so as to grow together,” he said. He noted that sustained growth by their cooperatives would foster the formation of a strong union capable of qualifying for government aid since the government prefers to deal with more organized unions.
Of particular concern, Amir noted that most bodaboda cooperatives don’t keep a record of their operations, which makes it almost impossible to track the progress of their cooperatives let alone following guidelines concerning the number of Executive members, and their specific roles as stipulated in the Cooperatives Act.
Testimonies from members of several cooperatives revealed that in most cooperatives, single members were micro-managing the affairs of their cooperatives, which goes against one of the key cooperative principles- democratic member control, and threatens their long-term survival.
It was also discovered that most members neither appreciated nor adhered to the formal structure of cooperatives, removing any incentive for accountability on the part of cooperatives’ leaders.
Amir told the chairpersons that a good cooperative must stand on the four pillars of Teaming, Democracy, Strategic Leadership and Accountable Empowerment if it is to be successful.
Consequently, members resolved to hold regular meetings to help one another grow as they aim towards forming a strong union.
The meeting was attended by at least 10 chairpersons of different boda-boda cooperatives from within Kampala and its neighborhood.