Message to government officials, cooperative leaders and other stakeholders in the 9th Technical Committee of the Africa Ministerial Cooperative Conference (TCAMCCO), held in Mombasa, Kenya, on 23-27 May under the theme: Accelerating Cooperation Among Cooperatives in the Post Covid-19 Era.

“It is a real privilege for me to be part of this very important activity that you are carrying out.

I would have preferred to accompany you in person, as I have done on other occasions, but some problems with agenda that were impossible to modify in time make me finally share some ideas with you through this channel.

Undoubtedly, we are going through a very complex time on a global scale.

We are still emerging from an unprecedented health crisis that has affected us all, to a greater or lesser magnitude.

In addition, we face multiple social, economic and environmental challenges that we must urgently resolve if we pretend to ensure a decent life for all the people who inhabit our planet today and for future generations.

This is why I consider extremely significant the current proposal of the African cooperativism.

Accelerating co-operation between co-operatives, by putting our sixth principle into action, is a mandate we must all adopt in overcoming those challenges.

Challenges which, of course, have a particular impact on each territory.

In this sense, I think it is very auspicious that each member organization of the International Cooperative Alliance, in this case in the African region, can put its agenda on the table and advocate the governments of each country to make progress in regulatory frameworks and public policies that favour the development of our business model.

For the ICA, in fact, it is essential to have strong and integrated organizations that promote our doctrine, that are proud supporters of the Cooperative Identity and that put our principles and values into action on a daily basis.

In the same sense, we want to be every day more protagonists on a global scale of the transformations that these challenges demand, and we are increasingly convinced that we promote a model with a proven track record of being both economically efficient and socially responsible.

Dear African friends, I am sure that at this ninth conference you will deepen the discussions on how to increase inter-cooperation and also you will be able to increase the levels of advocacy with governments and regional public bodies.

And I am sure that the reports from each country and from each area of your vast continent, which will be presented throughout this conference, will be a fundamental contribution to strengthening integration within and outside your region.

Likewise, we look forward to hearing about the good inter-cooperation practices you are developing in different sectors, as well as the conclusions you will reach on relevant issues such as digital transformation.

As you are well aware, the International Cooperative Alliance is strongly committed to building an integrated cooperative movement, rooted in each territory and commited to the needs of each of its members.

As we usually say, the challenges are global, but the answers are local, built by the communities in each territory, putting our principles and values into action and valuing the rich history of our cooperative movement, which dates back almost two centuries.

This is why the exchange of knowledge, resources, goods and services are essential to rapidly advance the social, economic and institutional integration of our movement, both nationally, regionally and, of course, globally.

More than 28 million cooperative members in Africa embody those transformations that we are driving globally and whose impact we need to see in every region, in every country and in every community.

Once again, thank you very much for inviting me to share these minutes with you, congratulations for the work you are doing and much success in these days that you will be carrying out.”