There is need for collapsed Cooperatives to be revived since they have the potential to contribute immensely to the country’s economic development.
The appeal was made during the 100th International Cooperative Day Celebrations held in Maun recently. The event was held by Botswana Cooperative Association (BOCA) in partnership with the Ministry of Entrepreneurship under the theme, “Cooperatives Build a Better World” to signify the importance of cooperatives in socio economic impact of the economy.
It is believed that youth engagement, digitization, good management skills and financial support can play very important role in building the fortune of cooperatives.
The Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare advised that it is essential for cooperatives to indulge with different stakeholders for support and to be assisted in implementing relevant strategies for their betterment.
Gare said over the years some cooperatives have collapsed due to lack of market or community support hence the need to come up with ways of making them more sustainable. He stressed that it is important for the cooperatives to be facilitated with business management skills. Gare expressed that their desire is to see cooperatives being the main contributors to youth employment creation, food security and the improvement of community livelihoods.
Gare said there is need to ensure that the cooperatives understand well the importance of the Co-operative Transformation Strategy and recognise how it can benefit them. He explained that the strategy aims to resuscitate, revamp and re-direct the development of cooperatives into globally competitive enterprises.
He has since encouraged the cooperatives to reflect more on their responsibilities and contributions to the economic development in order to analyse whether they are still relevant or in the right track to become sustainable.
Gare has also urged the cooperatives to take advantage of the recently launched Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) Cooperative Financial Product that seeks to finance, among others, equipment, plant, asset acquisition, working capital needs and property development.
“I would like to appreciate the Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA), Ministry of Local Government, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Lucara Mine and Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture for supporting the development and resuscitation of cooperatives,” Gare commended.
For his part, BOCA Chairperson Thatayaone Mpule said there is need for collaborative efforts when it comes to young people because the digital space is more appealing to them therefore this can help in moving forward as enlighten society.
‘There is need for collaborative efforts with the Ministry of Youth to engage them on how we can attract young people to the cooperative culture,’ he said.
Mpule revealed that BOCA has in the previous years embarked in a cooperative management information system or computerization project. He noted that the essence of the project was for all cooperatives to go digital and have cooperative societies transformation automated into the space of the fourth industrial revolution.