Today is the day of election of ICA Board where IFFCO Chairman N P Patel’s fate is to be decided. The seat had fallen vacant due to the untimely demise of IFFCO’s Surendra Jakhar.
Talking to Indian Cooperative Director of cooperative development at IFFCO G N Saxena expressed confidence that Mr Patel would romp home. But election is election and it is better to wait and watch, he added.
Mr Patel is a consensus candidate from India after NCUI President Mr Chandra Pal Singh Yadav withdrew his candidacy at the behest of IFFCO M D Dr U S Awasthi. Though the internal fight was over yet it required global campaigning to get our Chairman elected to the ICA Board, said a tense Saxena.
Earlier, the International Co-operative Alliance has opened its Global Conference and General Assembly in Cape Town.
In opening the event, the Alliance’s President Dame Pauline Green said: “There are 1,100 people from across the globe here, 350 from Africa. It is no coincidence that we are here. Africa remains a part of the world where co-ops can do more. It is a young and vibrant growing country. Co-ops can help wealth and prosperity for Africa.”
Stanley Muchiri, vice-President of the Alliance’s Africa region, said he was delighted when Africa was chosen by the global board. The General Assembly has been held in Africa for the first time in its existence of the Alliance. He said: “This gathering gives Africa a huge opportunity to share knowledge and experience from co-operatives across the world. Lessons learned will help us to reposition and focus the co-operative development in Africa.”
Mr Muchiri outlined the growth and prosperity across the continent, including agriculture, finance and housing. But he said areas such as consumer and healthcare have been neglected. He told delegates that a co-operative development strategy will be looking at this.
Dr Rob Davies, the Minister of Trade and Industry for South Africa, told the opening session that co-operatives have helped to promoted the development of people and has helped in areas such as unemployment and poverty. But one key challenge that has been identified is the issue of youth unemployment.
Added Dame Pauline: “We have the moment, we have the knowledge and the good will and support from those who desire what we desire. We have the strength and voice from one billion people with us. Let us use that slogan that was given to us by the United Nations and show that co-operatives build a better a world.”
-With input from Cooperative News