For Immediate Release
Contact: Ashley Holst, Senior Research Associate
U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council
US OCDC Conducts New Cooperative Leadership and Learning Event in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nairobi, Kenya (August 24, 2019) – The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council International Cooperative Research Group is pleased to announce the successful launch of a newly innovated activity: Cooperative Leadership and Learning Events (CLLE). The first CLLE was hosted in partnership with the Cooperative University of Kenya in Nairobi, Kenya from August 20 – 22, 2019. The CLLEs are carried out under the Cooperative Research Education & Development (CRED) award funded by USAID, the CLLE combines action research with developing managerial capital, resulting in strong cooperative leaders, more financially viable businesses and research-grounded results.
The CLLE convened 100 leaders of rural cooperatives from various coop sectors and county governments. These sectors include agriculture, beekeeping, leatherworking, artisan handcrafts, SACCOs, housing and real estate, ICT, and transport, just to name a few. This three-day intensive training was designed and lead by OCDC researcher and master trainer Dr. Gian Nicola Francesconi to gather actionable data and provide meaningful managerial training to the participating leaders.
Kenya is internationally known as a stand-out success story for cooperative development. Despite the successes there remains a growth disparity between urban and rural cooperatives. By targeting the rural sector, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of the population in Kenya, OCDC hopes to strengthen small rural cooperatives.
This pilot CLLE concluded with a policy discussion among donors, cooperative development organizations (CDOs), and policy makers in Kenya. The panel for the last day of the event included Mr. Geoffrey Jang’ome, Cooperative Commissioner, State Department of Cooperatives, Dr. Chiyoge Buchekabiri Sifa, Secretary to the Board and Regional Director, International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), Mr. Steven Otenio, CEO, Cooperative Alliance of Kenya (CAK), Dr. Isaac Nyamongo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Cooperative University of Kenya (CUK), and honored representatives from FAO, GENEX, NCBA CLUSA, HealthPartners, Global Communities and WOCCU. Two elected representatives of the cooperative leaders presented lessons learned from the two days of training and small group discussions. The panelists followed offering insight on the cooperative development situation for rural cooperatives in Kenya. This CLLE will be the first of three annually carried out in Nairobi in order to further extend and scientifically measure the benefits and actionable research of the activity.
OCDC brings together organizations committed to building a more prosperous world through cooperatives. Its mission is to champion, advocate and promote effective international cooperative development. OCDC members are global leaders in cooperative development in Africa, Latin America and Asia. With projects in over 70 counties, OCDC members implement the largest portfolio of cooperative development programs in the world. Members are: Equal Exchange, GENEX, Global Communities, HealthPartners, Land O’Lakes Venture 37, National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International, NRECA International and the World Council of Credit Unions.
International Cooperative Research Group
The International Cooperative Research Group is a division within OCDC that conducts academically rigorous research to support and enhance cooperative development, develops application tools, and facilitates learning amongst its member cooperative development organizations, other cooperatives and the international development community. This research is supported by the Cooperative Development Program from USAID.