This article first appeared in the Botswana Daily News
DGRV Africa Region Director, Mr. Ludwig Ehard and Botswana’s Department of Cooperatives Development Deputy Director, Mr. Boniface Tsheko at the 2nd SADC SACCO Managers’ Forum gala dinner in Gaborone. (11 Sept 2017)
Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (SACCOS) plays a crucial role in savings mobilisation for wealth creation and for investment in the various sectors of the economy, which include agriculture, education, manufacturing and other equivalent productive sectors.
Giving a keynote address at the second SADC SACCO Managers Forum Dinner in Gaborone on Monday, deputy director in the Department for Co-operative Development said SACCOS was a self-help and self-reliant democratically member-driven financial co-operative, owned, governed and managed by members with a common bond or common economic need.
Mr Boniface Tsheko, who was speaking on behalf of the Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Mr Biggie Butale, said, this may include people working for the same employer, belonging to the same labour union, social fraternity, or living in the same community.
He noted that the forum, which was held under the theme, SADC SACCO Integration for Better Business, was aligned with SADC Vision on building a region in which there would be a high degree of harmonisation and rationalisation, to enable the pooling of resources to achieve collective self-reliance and improve the living standards of the people of the region.
Mr Tsheko said that the objective of this year’s forum was to highlight the need for SADC policies and interventions to be people-centred and geared towards stimulating financial inclusive economic growth; creating decent and productive employment; and providing basic social services, social protection and simultaneously paying particular attention to equity and sustainability.
Furthermore, the conference aimed at ensuring efficiency and effective growth of co-operatives, improving performance of SACCO Managers and their SACCOs, sharing experiences and ideas on how to help grow SACCOs and providing a networking forum and synergies in the SADC region.
The SADC region has over 6 000 registered SACCOS with a total membership of US$1.6 million and an asset base of over US$823 million.
Of this, the contribution of Botswana to the stated statistics is 64 registered SACCOS while membership is over 25 000 and an asset base of over US$9 million.
Mr Tsheko further said that SACCOS members agree to pool their resources together and grant loans to one another at reasonable rates of interest.
This model allows members to benefit from higher returns on savings, lower interest rates on loans and low bank and finance charges on average, Mr Tsheko said.
In addition he said SACCOS helps members create opportunities such as starting small businesses, growing farms, building family homes and educating their children and other domestic needs, without unending state of dependency. The forum ends this Friday. ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Benjamin Shapi
Location : GABORONE
Event : SADC SACCO Managers Forum Dinner
Date : Sep 12 Tue,2017