The Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK) through the Co-operative Development, Research and Innovation Division and in partnership with WeEffect has run the Leadership for Change (LFC) programme since 2018 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that runs until 2022. The LFC programme was mooted following the realization that co-operatives, especially farmer-based organizations, faced leadership challenges in the ever-changing operating environment. The program aims to create change leaders for the farmer-based organizations who are more adaptive to the changes and challenges they encounter on a daily basis in their line of duty.
Since its inception, a total of 288 people have been trained across four countries—Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Initially focused on supporting farmer-based organizations within the co-operative sector, it has since adjusted to also include other sectors, including training student leaders in the university. It intends to equip the student leaders with relevant leadership skills and prepare them for future leadership roles.
In addition to human resource development for the region, the university has acquired training equipment and established further linkages and opportunities that have come as a result of the LFC programme. Speaking at the sidelines of a three day LFC training session for the University Management Board, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Co-operative Development Research and Innovation (CDRI), Prof Isaac Nyamongo, noted these opportunities and benefits.
“We have had new partnerships come to the university and particularly from the county governments as a result of this programme. For example, we have signed MoUs with the County Government of Kajiado and the County Government of Narok after training their co-operative officers under this programme” He further added that the university has also partnered with other Non-Governmental Organizations as a result of networks created during the LFC training events.
Covid-19 threw a curveball but, like all dark clouds, it came with a silver lining. It provided LFC with the opportunity to train online. CDRI Division will continue to partner and have the LFC programme rolled out to as many sectors as possible with the sole purpose of creating better leaders for the modern-day organizations and for the future.