Rebuild better together


This year, the cooperatives fraternity around the world will once again celebrate the annual international day of cooperatives as has been the tradition since 1923 and in 1995 when the United Nations general assembly officially proclaimed the day celebrated every 1st Saturday of July which will be 3rd.July.2021.

The aim of cooperatives day is to increase awareness of cooperatives and promote the movement’s ideas of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. Since 1995, the ICA and the United Nations through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives have jointly set the theme for the celebration of Cooperatives Day. This year’s theme is rebuild better together. Cooperatives around the world will showcase how they are meeting the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with solidarity and resilience and offering communities a people-centered and environmentally just recovery.

In the fields of health, agriculture, production, retail, finance, housing, employment, education, social services and many other spheres where cooperatives are found, the more than one billion cooperative members worldwide continue to prove that no one needs to face a crisis like the pandemic on their own. #CoopsDay will be the occasion to spread the word about how a human-centered business model, sustained by the cooperative values of self-help and solidarity and the ethical values of social responsibility and concern for community, can reduce inequality, create shared prosperity and respond to the immediate impacts of COVID-19” International Cooperatives Alliance press release 2021.


Under this year’s theme Rebuild Better Together, UHOCU, SSA and MUMYO will showcase how cooperatives and communities are facing the COVID 19 pandemic crisis by improving access to clean water, decent housing and alternative sources of income through skills development all of which offer a people-centered and environmentally just recovery.

International Cooperatives day is an annual event that is celebrated annually by the cooperative Movement. UHOCU is pleased to host this year’s event in under some scientific events due to COVID19 Pandemic and we kindly request you to participate and support the event where necessary.


                                                                     THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA






Fellow Countrymen,

Ladies and Gentlemen

On 4th July, 2020 Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 27th UN Day of Cooperatives/99th ICA International Cooperative Day. The commemoration underscores the contribution of cooperatives in enabling communities attain improved and sustainable livelihoods through self-help initiatives.

Due to the COVID – 19 pandemic and following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Government to combat the spread of the virus no public function has been organised.

Further, it’s important to note that COVID – 19 pandemic measures have had far reaching effects on operations of cooperatives including; Delayed Cooperative General Meetings, creating governance challenge especially for those whose Committees were expiring and had to elect new office bearers, Cooperatives operating with no approved budgets and delayed Dividends and Bonuses. Restricted movement resulted into Cooperative education and membership mobilisation, field work activities like extension services, loan appraisal and recovery slowing down and increased Non-Performing loans, Cooperatives in public transport (Taxi, Buses & Boda-Boda) were greatly affected,  Agricultural production, Agro-processing and marketing slowed down owing to restrictions in movement of laborers.

The Ministry responded by extending Cooperative committees whose term of office were expiring by close of financial year until such a time that theywill be able to convene General Meeting to elect new office bearers following the lifting of the restrictions on account of the pandemic. Further, Cooperatives were guided to restrict budgets to operating expenses and for essential services like salaries, hygiene, security stationery, communication, health and safety services while Dividends and Bonuses are to wait for the General meeting as above.

Going forward in view of the COVID – 19, Cooperatives may have to consider and adopt virtual meetings as an alternative for traditional physical meetings, Establish MIS platform, digitize operations and improve Management Information system. They will also work to review business plans and strategies to respond to the new normal which favours e-meetings and online engagement of members, build the capital base and invest in near to liquid ventures.

The theme for this year is “Cooperatives for Climate Change. This theme is anchored on the Cooperative Values of social responsibility and caring for others and the principle of concern for the community. It highlights the role played by cooperatives in mitigating the negative effects associated with climate change and its contribution towards sustainable environment.

The Ministry has so far registered 21,454 Cooperatives with 1,488 registered in the year 2019/2020. The Cooperative Movement has diversified in a wide range of economic activities as per the broad categorization bellow:

Cooperative category Registered No.
Agricultural Marketing 9,605
SACCOs 9,493
Multipurpose 1,138
Transport 420
Dairy 332
Area Cooperative Enterprises 136
Unions 134
Fishing 89
Housing 81
Energy 26
Total 21,454

Cooperatives are engaged in Agro-forestry, renewable energy and improved agricultural production practices.

It is worthy t note that at the previous International Cooperatives Day commemorations, the Ministry undertook the following activities:

  • Tree planting across the country
  • Cleaning of common community user places like Daily markets to promote clean environment
  • Held symposiums to discuss topical issues like the Role of Cooperatives in preservation of the environment and climate change management and Improvement of members livelihoods

In accordance with the NDP III, Vision 2040, and the NRM Manifesto, Government has prioritised the revitalisation and development of Cooperatives as a critical vehicle for increasing production and productivity and value addition and therefore critical for transformation of Uganda to a middle income status.

In line with the ICA and UN commitment to climate, the Ministry therefore, is committed to ensuring that the Cooperative Movement undertake to ensure that Climate change issues are appreciated by Cooperative members, Climate change mitigation measures adopted by Cooperatives and that the environment is preserved. The concept of environmental cooperatives dedicated to spearheading Sustainable management of natural resources and canvasing for their formation will be developed.

In conjunction with the relevant MDAs, research aimed at continuously improving the production technologies Cooperatives employ so as to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change will focus on the following areas:

  • Ensuring sustainable production resource utilization.
  • Proper management and disposal of domestic and industrial waste.
  • Creating awareness on the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Community participation in activities geared towards restoring the environment in areas where there is degradation.
  • Improving access to renewable energy.
  • Advancing rural electrification.

Government has undertaken a number of strategies including the following:

  • Review of the National Cooperative Policy.
  • Revival of Cooperatives.
  • Compensation for Cooperatives that lost assets/property during the war.
  • Strengthening Cooperative Education.
  • Skills Development-Uganda Cooperative College Kigumba (UCCK) & Uganda Cooperative College Tororo (UCCT)
  • Staffing the Cooperative Development Department
  • Strengthening District Cooperative Offices

The Ministry has recorded a number of achievements since the last commemoration of the UN Day of Cooperatives/ICA International Cooperative Day, and the following can be noted;

  • Amended of The Cooperative Societies Act, 2019, to strengthen the regulation and supervision of all types of cooperatives, improve safety and soundness of Savings and Credit Cooperatives, Strengthen supervision and enhance sustainability of the Cooperative Movement.
  • 1,488 Cooperatives of various categories were registered.
  • 04 Cooperative Unions (Busoga Growers Cooperative Union, North Bukedi Cooperative Union, Lango Cooperative Union and Masaka Cooperative Union) received compensation for assets and property lost during the war.
  • A study on strengthening Cooperatives for economic transformation was conducted by NPA. The paper was presented to the Presidential Economic Commission (PEC) and adopted
  • The Ministry has continued ensuring good governance and effective management for the development and sustainability of Cooperatives. Therefore, through partners and stakeholders we have undertaken capacity building programmes with 82 Cooperative leaders training sessions conducted in the areas of Cooperative Management and Financial reporting, 04 Cooperative Business clinics held, 3,084 Cooperatives audited, Annual/Special General Meetings of Cooperatives were conducted, 1,348 Cooperatives supervised, 162 Cooperatives inspected across the Country and 06 Cooperative arbitrations conducted.

Moving forward, the Ministry plans to;

  1. Review the Cooperative Societies’ Regulations and Bylaws in line with the Cooperative Societies Amendment Act.2019
  2. Work hand in hand with tertiary training institutions to develop Cooperative education and training programmes.
  3. Strengthen Cooperative Management Information Systems.
  4. Empower and Strengthen the District Cooperative Offices

In all the strategies outlined above, the Government ensures Cooperatives offer a model that promote participatory approaches in mitigating climate change.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Cooperatives are making big strides in meeting the economic and socio demands of their members through the provision of goods and services, creation of jobs and poverty reduction.

Let us all draw on the strength of Cooperatives as we pool efforts and resources to address the effects of climate change and to implement the national development agenda for the socio-economic development of our country.



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