By Meshack Ngangi
The Co-operative University of Kenya in collaboration with Moshi Cooperative University organised the 7th Annual Conference 2023 under the theme: “The Role of Social and Solidarity Economy in Sustainable Development, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation”. This two-day event took place at The Co-operative University of Kenya’s Karen main campus in Nairobi between the 3rd and 4th of August 2023. The conference brought together industry leaders, academia, researchers, policymakers, youth, and co-operative sector practitioners to share knowledge and experiences. It also provided a platform for knowledge exchange and helped practitioners and researchers to chart a way forward under the unprecedented global effects of climate change.
Speaking at the opening ceremony the Chief Guest Hon. Simon K. Chelugui, EGH, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Co-operatives & Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Development recorded his gratitude to the University for organising this very important conference that converged professionals in academia and industry to discuss matters of co-operative development. He noted that the theme speaks well to the contemporary and emerging challenges faced by the adverse impacts of climate change.
The CS lauded the two Universities for the collaborative efforts they put towards the transformations and professionalisation of the co-operative space noting that the students being trained at The Co-operative University of Kenya and Moshi Co-operative University are the future leaders in the co-operative movement. Hon. Chelugui also indicated that there are plans that his ministry is putting in place to ensure that all personnel within the co-operative movement are trained on the co-operative philosophy to better serve their members better. The Cabinet Secretary made a clerical call that the institution stays at the forefront of this very critical training need.
The Vice Chancellor of The Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK), Prof Kamau Ngamau in his remarks at the conference noted the great milestones the University has made over the years in the areas of research and innovation. The early August event being the CUK’s 7th edition was hosted by the University and organised in collaboration with Moshi Co-operative University (Tanzania) and speaks to the significance and centrality of collaborating in the spirit of cooperation among cooperators.
The 7th Annual Conference identified that sustainable development, climate change, human existence, and well-being are intricately intertwined in different facets and through multiple pathways. Since climate change transforms ecosystems, it, therefore, disrupts natural environmental processes and hastens species decline, culminating in the loss of cultural heritage, vulnerability, and deterioration in livelihood. The resolutions of this conference spoke to the core of raising awareness of these climate change impacts and are expected to push the world toward a more effective and sustainable globe to implement ambitious mitigation and adaptation mechanisms. The 8th edition of the annual conference will be hosted by the Moshi Co-operative University, Tanzania in 2024.