MASERU — Lesotho’s commissioner of co-operatives, `Maphamoli Lekoetje, on Thursday said the country was ready to host a successful International Co-operatives Alliance (ICA) Africa regional assembly in October.
Lekoetje made the remarks following a visit by a delegation from the ICA Africa regional office in Kenya to assess the country’s preparedness for the assembly scheduled for October 11 to 15.
“The delegation arrived on Saturday and left on Tuesday and their visit was basically to assess our structures and readiness to host a successful assembly,” Lekoetje said.
“The delegation also met with different stakeholders and discussed issues about further developing co-operatives in the country.”
The ICA holds its regional assemblies every two years to address both statutory and thematic issues.
The last regional assembly was held in Abuja, Nigeria, in November 2008 under the theme “Revitalising member-commitment and involvement for improved sustainability of African co-operatives”.
Lekoetje said the October assembly will give delegates a platform to exchange ideas and assess the best management practices for sustainable co-operatives.
The assembly is also expected to discuss the impact of co-operatives on poverty reduction, job creation as well as issues of climate change.
Lekoetje said Lesotho was currently exploring ways to develop its co-operatives’ sector.
“We are in the process of forming an apex organisation of financial co-operatives, which would focus on development and sustenance of savings and credit co-operatives,” she said.
“We have seen diversity in co-operatives run by our youths and the saving and credit co-operatives and so we would want to ensure they remain viable.”
ICA Afica is a member of the international alliance which unites and represents member organisations on the continent.
It also seeks to promote and strengthen autonomous and viable co-operatives throughout the region by serving as a forum for the exchange information on co-operative development, research and statistics.
It also provides technical assistance to co-operatives.