Ahead of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) International Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, ICA regional and sectoral organisations and committees hosted meetings, workshops and elections. During these events, CICOPA (the International Organisation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives) elected a new President and the ICA Youth Committee welcomed new members. There are also updates from the International Cooperative Banking Association, International Health Cooperatives Organisation (IHCO) and Cooperative Housing International (CHI).
CICOPA elects new president
CICOPA members met in Kigali for their General Assembly where a new board and President were elected for a four-year term.
Iñigo Albizuri Landazabal, Director of Institutional Relations at Mondragon Corporation in the Basque Country (Spain), takes over as President of CICOPA. He studied industrial engineering and business management before joining the COPRECI Group, a cooperative belonging to the Mondragon Group, where he spent over 20 years.
Mr Albizuri Landazabal succeeds Manuel Mariscal, who is stepping down after eight years of remarkable dedication and achievements.
He said: “The world has a bunch of challenges for us. And our answers are seeds of future. The industrial and services cooperatives of the world have a quite good answers for facing the future by humanising the work. It will be an honour for me to represent this cooperative movement.”
CICOPA’s new board is comprised of: Nobuhiro Furumura JWCU (Japan), Janusz Paszkowski NAUWC (Poland), Rostislav Dvorak SCMVD (Czech Republic), Sion Whellens Cooperatives UK (UK), Isabel Faubert Mailloux CWCF (Canada), Esteban Kelly USFWC (USA), Olga Pegoraro AGCI (Italy), Dov Orian CNC (Mexico), Carlos Acero CONFECOOP (Colombia) and Myriam Baez Rojas CONPACOOP (Paraguay).
ICA Youth Committee welcomes new members
Young cooperators shared ideas about how to help drive cooperation during the ICA Youth Network Assembly in Kigali.
In addition to exchanging experiences from their countries, they looked at how the movement could support them as well as increase youth representation within cooperatives.
Four new members were also elected to the executive committee: Koffi Kobenan Maurice (Côte d’Ivoire), Tatiana Pardo Peñuela (Colombia), Alireza Banaeifar (Iran) and Andrea Sangiorgi (Italy).
The committee plans two surveys in the coming months, which will be used to map youth cooperatives. Best practices shared through the survey will also be used to produce a book of best practices on the inclusion of young people in cooperatives.
Next year the ICA, as part of its #coops4dev programme, will host the Global Youth Forum. The event is aimed at young entrepreneurs and professionals aged 18-35 who are interested in entrepreneurship, cooperatives, innovation and professional training. Young cooperators interested in taking part can apply for grants. You can find out more about the event here.
ICA passes youth resolution in Kigali
At its General Assembly, the International Co-operative Alliance adopted a resolution from its Youth Network, asking the ICA board to review the bylaws, articles and budget regarding youth.
The resolution calls for the inclusion, with voting rights, of a youth representative on the boards of the ICA regions. The Africa and Americas regions already have youth representation on their boards. It also suggests including the youth action plan in the ICA global strategy, with an allocated budget.
“Young people are ready for action and looking for support and guidance to best channel their energies,” reads the resolution.
The network also recommends support for youth representatives so they can attend international ICA events, as well as a yearly in-person meetings of the youth committee. Technology can also make the Youth Network more accessible, adds the resolution, which calls for more inclusive tools and bylaws to foster the wider youth participation.
The Youth Network was set up in 2003 to help young co-operators from different countries to share experiences and engage with the rest of the movement.
International Cooperative Banking Association to be re-launched
On 12 October, members of the ICA from the financial services sector voted unanimously to re-operationalise the International Cooperative Banking Association. The re-launched organisation has also elected Bhima Subrahmanyam, Managing Director of NAFSCOB, as President who will be working with the newly-elected board to grow the organisation.
IHCO welcomes new member from India
On 13 October the International Health Cooperatives Organisation (IHCO) held its general assembly in Kigali, Rwanda. During the meeting members shared experiences, and approved the President’s report, financial statements and work plan for 2020. Lok Swasthya SEWA Co-operative from India joined as a member organisation.
CHI pays tribute to retiring board member
Thor Eek from housing co-op NBBLno from Norway is retiring from the board of Cooperative Housing International after eight years of service. CHI’s general assembly in Kigali also saw some new members join the board.
Elected board members are Blase Lambert from CCH (UK)- re-elected; Ali Hassan from ANGKASA (Malaysia) – re-elected; Hans Rupp from ABZ (Switzerland) – re-elected; Mike Duru from ZINAHCO (Zimbabwe) – new board member; and Henning Lauridsen from NBBL (Norway)- new board member.
At the meeting the board also approved a comprehensive social media strategy. The work plan for 2020 includes leading a social media campaign promoting cooperative housing, developing a strategy to improve diversity and gender equality, integrating youth in CHI membership and promoting the implementation of SDGs targets and indicators.
For all of our coverage from Kigali, click here