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Large participation on #coops4dev policy training in Africa

05 Sep 2017

Between 28 August and 1 September, the Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK) hosted two back-to-back workshop trainings on advocacy. The sessions were organised by The Alliance Africa, within the framework of the ICA-EU #coops4dev partnership program on co-operative development.

Twenty seven participants from 22 organisations and 13 countries – around two thirds of the Africa region members – convened at the CUK for a one day capacity building on Policy Dialogue on Co-operative Related Themes on 28 August. The capacity building was followed by a four days session and training on Functioning and Advocacy towards EU Delegations targeting the organisation’s chief executive officers, strategic directors of African co-operative members and national federations, unions and primary co-operatives, and ICA staff.

The overall objective of the trainings was to capacitate the co-operative associations and national federations to become ideal co-operative development partners, as well as viable policy-makers able to advocate for an improved policy environment that enables the co-operative movement in Africa to grow and thrive.

On Policy Dialogue on Co-operative Related Themes, the participants were trained on how policy dialogue is key in recognition and integral part of policy and decision-making processes. This first training was aimed at coordination and facilitation of policy dialogues within and amongst the African co-operatives and other key actors as an essential factor in achieving strategised policy decisions particularly around establishing and maintaining an enabling environment within which co-operatives in Africa can thrive so as to be better placed to implement and monitor the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The training specifically focused on ensuring that the heads of federations, co-operative unions and other co-operatives in Africa received accurate and credible information on how to form an advocacy strategy that responds to selected global and regional development policy processes that facilitate the implementation of the SDGs. Additionally, the training provided practical tips on how to get involved in and contribute to structured policy dialogues at global and regional levels so that their organisations and the co-operative movement in Africa as a whole gets involved in policy and decision-making processes that affect socio-economic development.

The Functioning and Advocacy towards EU Delegations training for four days succeed the Policy Dialogue training basically, which prepared the participants on the needs and sound knowledge about the structures of the EU, the role of the delegations and potential collaboration. They were encouraged to form relations with EU delegations and co-operative organisations that can build good mutual understanding which facilitates the development of co-operatives and thus economic prosperity in the country. The main objective of the session was to enhance the competencies and skills for political dialogue with the EU delegations in the various countries.