ICA events in South Africa, very intense and rich in contents for CICOPA

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) events in South Africa, which grouped 1200 people from 88 countries, were very intense and rich in contents for CICOPA. The workshop “Access to Community Services – Social Needs, Cooperative Answers” and the launch of the report “Cooperative Growth for the 21st Century” figured prominently.

13 November 2013

On 3 November, as part of the ICA conference “A Cooperative Decade in Action”, CICOPA held with the International Health Cooperative Organisation (IHCO) the workshop “Access to Community Services – Social Needs, Cooperative Answers”. Over 200 people, including Paul Singer, Secretary of State for Solidarity Economy under the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Brazil and Roberto Rodrigues, ex-President of the ICA, participated. This session presented several concrete examples of cooperatives providing community services from countries such as Argentina, Japan, Brazil, USA and Spain. The workshop shared the main global trends regarding cooperatives engaged in community services (health, education, housing, environment, social services and the labour integration of disadvantaged citizens etc,) with the help of international experts and examples of cooperatives in the field. Several videos were shown illustrating concrete cooperative examples, they can be accessed here.

Bruno Roelants, Secretary General of CICOPA, presented on 5 November the report “Cooperative Growth for the 21st Century” that was commissioned by the ICA to CICOPA. It suggests a new approach to the concept of growth applied to cooperatives and how to measure it, as well as related concepts such as efficiency, development, sustainability, socio-economic and environmental impact, and the creation and distribution of general wealth. The report includes ”think pieces” from a series of scholars coming from different parts of the world (Africa, Asia, South America, North America and Europe) and trained to analyse the question from different angles (labour, political economy, sociology, rural development, industrial districts, banking, the environment).

General Assembly of the ICA

On 4 November, the ICA held its own General Assembly. Pauline Green was reelected as ICA President, and the whole board was renewed. Apart from the new sectoral representatives (Jose Carlos Guisado from IHCO for the producers’ sectors and Kathy Bardswick from ICMIF for the users’ sectors), many new board members were elected. These include Ariel Guarco (Argentina), Eudes de Freitas Aquino (Brazil), Monique Leroux (Canada), Akiro Banzai (Japan), Jean Louis Bancel (France), Carlo Scarzanella (Italy), and Petar Stefanov (Bulgaria). The youth representative of the board is Gabriela Ana Buffa, who was nominated by Cooperar — the confederation of Argentina cooperatives — and has been the youth secretariat on the board of the Mobilizing Institute of Cooperative Funds. More information about the election here.

The documentary Together, produced by CECOP –CICOPA Europe, was screened in its English and French versions in the Cooperative Cinema Documentary films, a side ICA event held on 4 and 3 November. A new cooperative logo, designed by the British worker cooperative Calverts, was launched at the ICA’s Global Conference in Cape Town. To apply to use the global Cooperative Marque and a .coop domain please visit:

The ICA Africa strategic document for the cooperative decade was unveiled on 6 November, at the Africa ministerial meeting. As it contained strong references to cooperatives in manufacturing, crafts, services such as education, tourism and health, Bruno Roelants intervened to express CICOPA’s availability to help in this endeavor.

Download the report “Cooperative Growth for the 21st Century” here.

See some pictures of the workshop on Access to community services here.

International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives

Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037
E-mail: cicopa[at]

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