The Co-operative University of Kenya has held its 2 day Annual Conference on “Innovations for Sustainable Co-operative Development”. The conference was officially opened by the Principal Secretary Ministry Of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives, State Department of Co-operatives has had various cross-cutting sub-themes discussed.
The PS noted that the Co-operatives Kenya have a critical role to play in National Development, “Looking into the highlights of the Big-Four Agenda of the Kenyan Government Strategic Delivery in the next five years, the President of The Republic of Kenya H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta is keen on Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing, and Universal Healthcare for accelerated social-economic transformation, increased job creation and improved job quality of life for all Kenyans. This agenda is akin to the objectives of the State Department of Co-operatives, including building of affordable housing, food security sustained through improved value-addition on products and increased job creation through promotion of youth and women Co-operatives in the rural setups.”
The Chairperson of the CUK Council, Dr. Ibrahim Ali, speaking during the opening of the conference challenged coop scholars to get a notch high in research and policy creation to position coops for the future, “Many praises have been heaped on co-operatives. But, can co-operatives afford to remain dormant and enjoy the praises? You will all agree with me that times are changing fast and competition in the World is tight. Coops must wake up and run with the rest. Perhaps the Principles of Co-operatives may not change in the near future but may need redefinition. This University and such conferences must provide critical knowledge to the ‘Future Co-operative Society’ ”
Speaking during the same event, the CUK’s Ag. Vice Chancellor Prof. Kamau Ngamau challenged coops to adopt ICTs in their operations to ease their roles and functions on day-to-day basis. He lamented that Coops in Africa have had concerns raised on this aspect and there was need for change.
Speaking during the closure of the conference, the DVC Co-operative Development, research and Innovation Prof. Isaac Nyamongo noted that this annual Conference noted that conferences were a booster to academics and foster knowledge generation and sharing. He announced that the 2019 annual conference would be held on March, 25th and 26th. This conference was sponsored by the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, Shirika Sacco Society Limited, National Research Fund, Embassy of Denmark and the Global Communities Kenya.