Co-operative Bank, through its subsidiary, Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency kicked off its Annual National Co-operatives workshop on May 7 where CEOs from across the country will deliberate key issues concerning the industry.
The workshop themed Co-operatives Tomorrow: Technology and Innovation for Sustainable and Inclusive Development was presided over by the PS State Department for Co-operative Development, Mr. Ali Noor Ismail, who in his keynote speech highlighted the importance of leveraging technology in Co-operatives to spur innovation.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Noor Ismail said, “With the adoption of technology in Co-operatives, we have seen new types of products introduced that meet more specific needs of members, improve liquidity in Saccos and even yield better margins for Co-operatives. In short, Co-operatives today operate smarter than they did in the past.”
The three-day workshop focused on engaging the CEOs on how to revolutionize their societies and operate within the competitive business environment with the constantly changing market dynamics.
Coop Bank’s subsidiary, Co-op Consultancy’s main role is to enhance the institutional capacities of co-operative societies, who are the core stakeholders of the bank.
According to Coop Bank Director Co-operatives Division, Mr. Vincent Marangu, there are many organizations faced with numerous institutional challenges which they must address in order to attain their goals in the dynamic business environment in the country.
“As Co-operatives are the key stakeholders of the bank, we facilitate such workshops every year to create an environment where they can deliberate, share learnings and build each other,” Marangu said during the workshop.
This year’s workshop aimed to cover a wide range of topics such as building technological capabilities in Co-operatives to help the participants think strategically about technology beyond adoption and managing the associated risks.
The event featured a panel discussion focusing on three key areas, building capacity in terms of strategy, governance, and security as well as demystifying digital transformation in Co-operatives; many Co-operatives have carried out system changes and adopted new technologies but they are not fully digital.
The topic of digital transformation and what Co-operatives need to do to achieve it was also featured together management and expansion of the Agricultural value chain. This was to help challenge the participants to think further on what they can do to expand their value chain and introduce new alternatives to their existing business models.
Among the areas covered by the Co-operatives CEOs included managing technology partnership, leadership and coaching and the Impact of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti Money Laundering Act (PoCAMLA) to bring on board Deposit-taking SACCOs into mandatory reporting of large transactions in respect to prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.
The workshop is one of several pieces of training offered to Co-operatives by Co-operative Bank, through Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency, to help them in capacity building, development, and growth.
The vibrant and dynamic co-operative movement in Kenya is a key player in the economy, controlling about over 40 percent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Co-operative Societies in Kenya employs more than 500,000 people, besides providing opportunities for self-employment to many more. Savings and credit societies (SACCOs), the fastest growing sub-sector in the movement, controls over 30 percent of national savings.