KAMPALA-The Uhuru Institute for Social Development [TUI] and The Africa Cooperatives Institute of South Africa [ ACISA ] have signed a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] for the development of the cooperative movement in Africa.
The MoU document was signed on November 26, 2022, during a virtual ceremony witnessed by the officials and staff of the two institutions that work to position cooperatives at the forefront of Africa’s development agenda.
The implementation of the three-year MoU will begin next year focusing on cooperative social solidarity, innovation and practice, knowledge sharing and Pan African mobilisation and advocacy agenda.
Under the MoU, both institutions are expected to explore partnerships roles in rolling out key events relating to research and co-operative development and support each other’s efforts to build capacity amongst staff members, cooperative constituencies, and technical research teams.
They will also under the MoU enable each to access to key working resources such as platforms and information technology systems where possible and where necessary jointly mobilise resources necessary for the actualization of the MoU.
Commenting on the MoU, TUI’s Board Chairman, Eng. Dunstan Kisuule: “It is our hope that this is the start of a journey towards building a truly strong Pan-African cooperative movement that will transform our peoples into a force for change through active production, trade, information sharing, and innovations. Such hope will place Africa into a competing force in this globally unfair political economy.”
He added: “We must start to work and build now. And in the end let it be said…that these two organisations led the Pan-African cooperative drive that has changed the daily lives, livelihoods, and wellbeing of our families and communities for the better.”
On his part, Mr. Katleho Raleko, the Chairperson, Management Board, who signed the MoU on behalf of his institution, said: “Our partnership will add value to the cooperative sector in Africa as a whole.” He said, through the MoU, TUI and ACISA would share ideas and exchange visits.
TUI’s CEO, Leonard Okello signed the MoU on behalf of the Board Chairman Eng. Kisuule.
TUI’s Co-founder and operations director Jane Amuge Okello stressed the importance of the MoU saying: “We are confident that the partnership is not only going to build the institutions but also impact on the communities that we work with, but more importantly place us better within the Pan-African space so that we can influence socio-economic development by applying and advancing the cooperative business model.”
In the MoU signed, the two institutions note that much as the African continent is rich in natural resources; including vast fertile land, fresh lakes and rivers water, tropical to temperate vegetation, minerals, solar petroleum, natural gas, and bio-organic energy, a youthful population with a mean age of 19 years old only, vast coastline and international waterways, it contributes less than 3 percent of the global export trade.
It has been noted that African cooperatives have key roles in facilitating both the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] 2030 and African Agenda 2063 implementation at the international, regional, national and local levels.
As umbrella bodies, cooperatives in Africa aspire to use tools and initiatives to facilitate a ‘trickledown’ effect throughout the movement and their communities, thereby ensuring inclusive and sustainable development at all levels.
It has been said that unlike other enterprises, cooperatives contribution to the implementation of SDGs and African Agenda 2063 is part and parcel of their critical role towards its membership and surrounding communities. This is evident from the purpose for which they are formed and the principles and values under which they operate.
TUI is engaged in social businesses providing innovative solutions towards mindset change and collective wealth creation through co-operatives and other citizen collectives.
On the other hand, ACISA is a registered cooperative enterprise, with shareholding by cooperators. It conducts training, research and consultancy in the interest of developing grassroots cooperatives.
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