Speech By Hon Adan Mohammed During the 2nd Kuscco Sacco Leaders’ Convention On 22nd March 2017 at the KICC, Nairobi

Principal Secretary, State Department for Co-operatives, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives;

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives;

Commissioner for Co-operative Development;

County Executive Committee Members;

Directors and Commissioners for Co-operatives from the Counties;

Representatives of NACOs present;

KUSCCO Directors;

Distinguished Delegates
Invited Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen;

Good Morning,

I am greatly honoured and pleased to join you today during this memorable occasion of the 2nd Annual SACCO Leaders’ Convention, 2017. This is a high profile meeting with the crème de la crème of the SACCO leadership, whose discussions and outcomes will benefit not just the sector, but the entire country.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme of this year’s Convention is; “SACCOs for sustainable development,” which is very timely and will no doubt bring to light how SACCOs can contribute to sustainable development in the country, for posterity. Suffice it to say that the theme resonates very well with the global development goals. A close scrutiny of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN Assembly in July, 2014, reveals that co-operatives have a lot of relevance especially in the area of sustainable development.

On a wider scale, the co-operative sector contributes significantly to socio-economic development, globally. In total, slightly above one billion people are involved in co-operative business worldwide. Statistics from the International Co-operative Alliance indicates that the world’s 300 largest cooperative enterprises have collective revenues of USD 1.6 trillion, which are comparable to the GDP of the world’s ninth largest economy, Spain. Further, co-operatives employ at least 100 million people worldwide, and it has been estimated that the livelihoods of nearly half of the world’s population are secured by co-operative enterprises.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The co-operative business model is very unique in that it is value-based and principle-driven and as such, it is a suitable vehicle for socio-economic development of any country. In Kenya for instance, it is an integral part of the Government's economic strategy on poverty reduction, employment creation and equitable distribution of resources in line with the goals of Kenya Vision 2030. The model has been applied successfully in virtually all sectors of the economy with impressive results in mobilization of both human and financial capital.

Dear Co-operators

Currently, the SACCO subsector in Kenya has over 6000 active registered co-operatives, which have mobilized deposits to the tune of over Ksh.600 billion with an asset base of over Ksh.870 billion. Of these, we have over 200 registered Youth SACCOs and I am happy to note that through this Convention, the Youth agenda will be sufficiently discussed with not only local speakers but also with those from other countries through the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).

It is worth noting that the huge deposits that have been mobilized, coupled with the diverse loan products that are offered by SACCOs have provided financial resources for capital investments in this country and the world over.
While the subsector has experienced exponential growth, there are some challenges that face the sector and need to be addressed. For instance, the importance of good corporate governance cannot be over-emphasized. This can only be achieved by electing leaders with good leadership qualities, who will place the needs of members above their own needs. I therefore urge all co-operatives to put in place strong governance structures through a democratically driven process.
The adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as an enabler for SACCOs’ growth has not fully taken root. The future belongs to those co-operatives that embrace ICT. I am happy to note that a number of SACCOs are adhering to Quality Management Systems and are now ISO Certified. As we do this, let us carry out continuous audits of our systems with a view to protecting our systems from cyber crime which has become prevalent in this age.

On our part, the Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives will continue to put in place a conducive policy, legal and regulatory environment for co-operatives to operate in. The process of finalization of the National Co-operative Development Policy is at an advanced stage. The draft policy will soon be circulated to all stakeholders for their input. Additionally, the Ministry, through the State Department for co-operatives is in the process of automating core processes such as registration of co-operative societies in order to serve the movement better. Plans are also under way to develop a strategic plan for State Department, which will provide a roadmap for the growth and development of the co-operative movement in this country in line with its mandate.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In order to provide supervision and oversight and hence safeguard against the risk of loss of members funds, the Government of Kenya has enacted the SACCO Societies Act (2008) through which the SACCO Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) was established to regulate the Deposit Taking SACCOs that operate Front Office Services Activity (FOSA). We are following up on the request by the co-operative movement for SASRA to remain autonomous from the proposed Financial Services Authority (FSA) owing to its uniqueness and its critical role as an industry regulator for Deposit Taking SACCOs.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As you are aware, the earlier intended visit to H. E. The President by the leadership of the co-operative movement late last year did not take place due to unavoidable circumstances. However, a small Team comprising of the core leaders of the movement were able to visit him on 14th December, 2016, during which a number of requests were made to him. We are following up on the issues and we will be updating you on the outcome as time goes by.

As I conclude, I wish to thank KUSCCO, the sponsors, resource persons, exhibitors and all participants for coming together to make this event successful.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you fruitful participation.

Ladies and Gentlemen
It is now my great pleasure and duty to declare this 2nd Annual SACCO Leaders’ Convention 2017 officially open.

Mr. Adan Mohamed, EGH
Cabinet Secretary


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