PAN-AFRICAN ACTION PLAN FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF COOPERATIVES (PAD 2012)
As the PAD 2000 became outdated, the PCC organized a workshop of English-speaking, Arabic-speaking, French-speaking and Portuguese speaking experts from 8 to 9 November 2012 at Lomé to update the PAD 2000 and derive from it the 2012-2022 TEN-YEAR PAN-AFRICAN ACTION PLAN validated by the experts and adopted by the PCC itself.
The aim of this ten-year action plan, designed to cover the period 2012-2022, is to strengthen the role of cooperatives in reducing poverty and social exclusion through the creation of decent jobs and wealth. Indeed, the diagnosis conducted under this plan reveals that the potential contribution of cooperatives to the economic and socio- cultural development of Africa is limited by several factors including the absence in many countries of a policy with a clear vision shared by all the stakeholders of the cooperative movement, the institutional and legal environment which is not conducive for the promotion of cooperative enterprises, under development of entrepreneurship among cooperative actors making it difficult to explore all the opportunities offered by the environment in which this type of enterprises develop and limited promotion of the cooperative culture. This situation strengthens in many cases the rooting of individualism at the expense of cooperative initiatives. Furthermore, some factors are increasingly standing out as major challenges that cooperatives must address. These include underemployment and unemployment among young people and women, food insecurity, social exclusion and accentuation of poverty mainly among disadvantaged groups such as youths, women, people with disabilities and displaced persons. The vision of African cooperative actors through this action plan is to convert 'cooperatives into real collective enterprises, creating decent jobs and wealth for the benefit of their members in the first place followed by their community, contributing as such to economic growth and development of the continent'
To translate this vision into concrete actions, three objectives have been set including:
1. To contribute to the creation of a supportive political, legal, institutional, economic, financial and technological environment for the development of cooperatives in all fields of human life in Africa;
2. To continue the promotion of cooperative entrepreneurship as the privileged strategy for the fight against food insecurity, social exclusion, poverty, unemployment of youths and women;
3. To develop human resources capable of effectively assisting and managing cooperatives in Africa.
To achieve the above-mentioned objectives, four programme components were chosen, including:
- Establishment of an incentive framework for the development of the cooperative movement ;
- Information, training and research on the African cooperative movement ;
- Financing the cooperative movement ;
- Consolidating the achievements of the African cooperative movement.
As part of the implementation of an incentive framework for cooperative development, it is urgent to support States in the crafting and implementation of cooperative development policies, the establishment of an incentive framework specifying the administrative supervisory authority and the technical supervisory authority of cooperatives by defining the role of each institution in the promotion of cooperatives, the implementation of the Uniform Act relating to the right of cooperative societies in the OHADA zone and support to the development of an enabling legal framework for cooperative development in non–member States of OHADA and the promotion of cooperative entrepreneurship for vulnerable groups.
The second component intends to strengthen the capacity of pan-African and regional training institutions in cooperative economics, integration of cooperative practice and education in secondary, vocational and university curricula to prepare young people for cooperative employment, strengthening the managerial and technical capacity of cooperative actors in view of the viability and profitability of cooperatives and significant improvement of the living conditions of their members. This component also intends to strengthen the information and education of co-operators and the public as well as cooperative research on specific concerns of cooperative development in Africa.
The third component envisages the creation of an African Cooperative Development Bank alongside national banks and cooperative financial institutions in African countries to scale up the access of co-operators to loans tailored to the development needs of their businesses. The need to establish guarantee and investment funds for the activities of cooperatives should also be promoted by the cooperative banking institution.
The fourth component intends to strengthen the coming together of African states at the continental level in order to increase the effectiveness of advocacy for cooperative development in national strategies to fight against poverty and the strengthening of trade and financial dealings between African countries and other continents.
Thereafter, the action plan proposed the major evaluation indicators and strategies for the implementation of selected action programmes.
Invited to participate at the closing session of the International Year of Cooperatives in 2012 at New York, the Pan African Cooperative Conference presented this Action Plan to the Assembly. The Action Plan was adopted by the United Nations as a contribution to the global Action Plan for the development of cooperatives aimed at achieving the objectives listed above.