ICA-Africa regional conference explores coops for a sustainable Africa

11 Jan 2024

The 16th Africa Regional Assembly and Conference took place on November 14 and 15, 2023, at the Abuja Continental Hotel in Nigeria. 

The theme of the event was "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

The day before the conference, ICA-Africa ran a youth network side event and training session focused on worker coops and how they can be differentiated from other coop models. The session shared knowledge on this topic and work to inspire and empower young people to engage in the cooperative movement. 

Another side event focused on the contribution of women in fostering sustainability in cooperatives in Africa. Organised by the ICA-Africa Gender Equality Committee, the event invited members to share updates on how they are working to promote gender equality and women's empowerment in coops. 

The sessions also shared stories and strategies for integrating gender perspectives into cooperatives and highlighted the role of women in driving sustainability and inclusive development within the cooperative sector.

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