From Yakubu Mustapha Minna
The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) has said that over 415 million Africans are still languishing in abject poverty despite a turnover of over 2.5 trillion dollars made through co-operatives.
Regional Director, International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in Africa, Dr. Chiyoge Sifa made this known in Minna at the 5th Congress and National Workshop of the Co-operative Federation of Nigeria (CFN).
She hinted that no fewer than 250 million job opportunities were created in 2016 by the International Cooperative Alliance across the globe.
“Over 415 million people live below 2 dollars, 1.9 dollars a day or less in Sub-Sahara Africa despite a turnover of over 2.5 trillion dollars.
“We are also aware that, those who live between 2 to 4 dollars per day are the middle class who are 40 percent of Africa’s population.
“The statistics we have now is that of 2012 and now we are in 2017. There is a slight improvement but not at the speed we want.
“Immediately after the 2012 statistics, we launched the African Cooperative Development and Strategy 2013 and 2016 and it was to see the contribution the cooperative could bring to the table using the level of poverty in Africa.
“Since then, we took stock of our strategy and it was executed by 60 percent. We are quite happy and now we have launched the 2017/2020 strategy to try and see how we could fast track the 40percent which we never achieved.” She stated Dr. Sifa added that, the ICA is optimistic that when the new statistics come out, the level of poverty would have improved, adding that “there are too many factors, the co-operatives are only part of the solution but unfortunately it’s not fully embraced by all the 54 nations of Africa”.
Speaking further on the theme, ‘Inclusion: Co-operatives ensure no one is left behind’, the ICA Regional Director said “the cooperative movement remains the highest employer across the world after it created over 250 million job opportunities in 2016.”
Also, an aspirant for the post of President, CFN, Tajudeen Ayeola, blamed the emergence of mushroom cooperatives on some greedy government officials who use such societies basically to siphon government grants meant for investments.
Accordingly, Ayeola said in an interview with Journalists that “mushroom cooperative societies are created by government officials especially on the papers basically to siphon or benefit from government grants.”
He however assured that, such anomalies will be addressed soonest as the CFN according to him will lobby the National Assembly to ensure cooperative law is reviewed.