Forty residents grouped into two sessions in Kamonyi district, Southern Province have finished basic training in cooperatives operations, management skills, and business initiatives through self-help groups.The three-day training facilitated by Global Civic Sharing Rwanda (GCS Rwanda), a South Korean nonprofit organization that aims at creating economic self-reliance for the communities in Kamonyi district started on 31st August to 3rd September.
It was funded by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) under self-reliance Project for vulnerable People based on Civil empowerment in Rwanda.
This training, organized in full respect of all measures of meant to fight against COVID-19 namely hand washing, social distancing, masks wearing and fever testing aimed at equipping trainees with the best practices of good cooperative operations and development of its member.
Trainees came from various cooperatives including KOPUINYA, a cooperative of traders for agricultural products, and KOABINYA, a cooperative of farmers of Vegetables and self-help groups (SGHs).
Other trainees came from Self help groups (SGHs) located in Nyarubaka Sector, Kamonyi district including Kigusa, Ruyanza, Gitare, Nyagishubi and Kambyeyi cells.
The trainees included 22 males and 18 females. They were introduced to the principles and values of cooperatives in Rwanda, enhanced skills related to the best practices of a good cooperative, and provision of skills on cooperative management.
Both cooperatives (KOPUINYA and KOABINYA) were selected by GCS to enhance members’ skills.
“We have trained them about basic skills on how cooperatives operate. Every member plays his or her role, in management and supervision, team coordination. They should keep these skills at heart and put them to good use,” Gisele Mukakimenyi, a trainer said.
The training fits in the Rwandan government policy to grow the cooperative sector for sustainable development.
The cooperative program launched in 2000 was designed as a development approach helping the country to achieve middle-income status by 2020 and to increase the annual GDP growth to 10%.
Available figures from Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA) indicate that there are 9,597 cooperatives in the country as of 2019, comprising of 2.69million men and over 2.14million women.
These cooperatives operate in various economic activities including agriculture, livestock, commerce, service, transport, handcraft, among others.
Other cooperatives also work in Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOS).
“We appreciate the skills we have gained, we have been taught the way cooperatives work effectively and the way profits can’t be shared but continue developing it. We are supposed to have equal shares in the cooperative and let every member have their voice heard as a matter of transparency,” Jean Bosco Rutabana, a trainee said.
“Many cooperatives have collapsed due to lack of basic skills in management.”
Aimable TWAGIRAYEZU, The Project Manager told KT Press “Global Civic Sharing Rwanda planned Cooperative training to KOPUINYA, KOABINYA and other SHGs representatives because we have been supporting them from 2015 through saving based activities. We wish they can grow in size and capital in line with National Program so as to generate more income, promote the culture of working together among others.”
“We expect that the trainees will on a direct basis, disseminate the acquired skills to their colleagues and on an indirect basis to Nyarubaka sector at large, for further discussion and improvement of cooperatives’ operation among existing cooperatives, thus helping to design new developmental approaches to those who wish to establish new Cooperatives,” TWAGIRAYEZU adds.
Twagirayezu lauded participants and stakeholders of this particular training.
“Effective collaboration and partnership of GCS Rwanda, Governemnt entities, and various participants will make the Project sustainable,” he said.