COPAC (South Africa), UNISOL (Brazil) and CUMIC (Mongolia).
COPAC, South Africa
CICOPA has admitted a new associate member in the second semester of 2006, COPAC (Cooperative and Policy Alternative Centre) from South Africa. COPAC is active in paving the way for the re-organisation of the South African Cooperative movement, which experienced a blow this year with the demise of NCASA (National Cooperative Association of South Africa), the embryonic apex organisation. One of COPAC’s priority is to help structure the South African worker cooperative sector, which has no federation at this stage. We wish a warm welcome to our South African Colleagues!
Vishwas Satgar, COPAC director, recently wrote: “COPAC has developed a research program which is tracking government policy, support progams and institutions involved in cooperative development. Last year it completed a research report on the institutional support environment for cooperative development in the country and Gauteng Province, the industrial heartland of South Africa. This research is being shared widely with trade unions and social movements. In addition, COPAC has worked on the Cooperatives Development Policy for this Provincial Government and has defined an enabling policy role for government to support trade union led initiatives to build worker cooperatives. Over the next three years COPAC intends to open an active dialogue with the trade union movement in the country and to involve CICOPA in ensuring the development of a worker cooperative sector through a bottom up process. In the course of 2007 COPAC will conduct a research project highlighting successful cooperative experiences on the African continent, including worker cooperatives. In addition, COPAC will be leading and managing a three year comparative research project on Cooperatives and the Global Political Economy in which it will highlight important global experiences of cooperative development models including worker cooperatives”
UNISOL is a recently established federation of worker cooperatives, grouping over 180 enterprises and growing rapidly. CICOPA EC member, Simone Mattioli went to their Congress in Brazil last year, where they expressed their interest to join CICOPA. CICOPA general secretary Bruno Roelants met UNISOL leaders in Bologna in September in order to discuss their possible affiliation request. This request was received by the secretariat in February and was approved by the EC at its electronic meeting of 22 February.
CUMIC (Central Union of Mongolian Industrial Cooperatives) was re-admitted in 2006 as a CICOPA member after a hiatus of two years, soon after their new President, Ms. Altangaaya, had been elected. CUMIC was established in 1991 after the new social-economic system started and multiple ownership was accepted, thus making it possible to organize worker cooperatives again. But the first Mongolian worker cooperative (a sewing workshop) goes back to 1931. Over 230 cooperatives are actively operating in the Union. We hope that a dynamic network can be established between our Mongolian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean members.
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