Wednesday, 20 June 2012

UN year of Co-operatives

As we reach the midpoint of the year 2012, it will be prudent  to ask ourselves as society  and as individuals whether we have achieved  the goals we set in January. Taking account of ourselves will help us not only to remain focused to achieve what we are yet to but also to take a corrective path if need be that will ensure that we do not deviate from them.

In January, I highlighted reasons why you ought to be in a Sacco or group savings scheme for that matter. Apart from pooling resources together for wealth creation purposes, events  that have occurred in our financial sector for the last six months should trigger you to action and run to register to the nearest Sacco. High inflation rate, unbearable interest rates in loans, rising fuel and food costs just to name a few, are some of the factors that you need to take into account and ask yourself if you have a soft landing for you and your family in the event conditions remain as they are.

Here in the co-operative movement we are as relevant as we were over 30 years ago to offer you alternative financial services in a more regulated environment. Sacco s have continued to offer affordable flexible credit even when the macro economics in the financial sector dictated otherwise. This is because of the business model that many of them have adopted; pooling resources together, and lending within. This ensures that money stays within the common bond members hence cushioning them against any erratic changes in the financial sector but also assures them of attractive dividends at the end. Credit is also widely available and thus members take advantage of this to borrow at lower interest rates compared to the mainstream banks.

For more advise on how you can benefit from being in a Sacco , please visit our website at  and remember 2012 is the UN international year of cooperatives

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Saccos set to drive Kenya’s economic agenda this year

The co-operative movement is set to play a key role in Kenya’s economy this year as more Kenyans continue to seek affordable credit for economic empowerment and wealth creation. The industry which according to the Ministry of Co-operatives and Marketing Development controls up to Kshs 230 billion is set to continue being major force in the national economy. It is no doubt that over the years, the co-operative movement helped to mobilize resources, created multinational enterprises and indeed employed thousands of people in Kenya. Saccos have also provided an alternative source of credit often at lower interest rates compared to banks. However for Saccos to compete favorably in the financial industry, they will have to embrace information communication technologies which they have underutilized, giving the movement a backward image. 

By embracing ICT, Saccos will be able to manage their business as well as establish a proper mix of communication, distribution, and services channels for goods and services produced by the cooperative sector in the country.ICT will also help them access wide and lucrative markets both locally and abroad.

In addition, most Saccos will need to establish proper leadership and governance structures as recommended by SASRA that will ensure that they conduct business in a transparent and accountable manner. This will help fizzle out the corrupt outfit image that most Saccos have been associated with for a long time and make the sector respectable. It is also high time that the youth took over leadership of Saccos as this will give them an opportunity to inject fresh ideas and also provide them with a platform to showcase their talents, innovations and market accessibility.

Also Saccos will need to market their lending facilities and at the same time ensure that their credit acquisition process is well understood. Over the years, most people have shunned the co-operative movement due to misunderstanding the lending process. While most Saccos use guarantors as security for loans, the process has often been subject to abuse due to lack of debtor information and inadequate debt collection mechanisms. Therefore, the co-operative movement should consider establishing or partnering with information sharing bureaus which will help reduce loans default cases.

2012 has been declared by the UN as the international year of cooperatives. Therefore all the stakeholders in the co-operative movement should help Saccos in Kenya to take advantage of their wide network and public goodwill to position themselves to drive the economic agenda of this country.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


The co-operative movement has remained a mystery over the years despite making significant contributions to the national economy.  This has been made so by lack of enough information, persistent management wrangles embezzlement of members money and above all corruption. However despite all these setbacks, the movement has remained solid and progressive and it is today estimated to have over Kshs 250 billion and where ever you look in the country, you will see the hallmarks of co-operative movement that include, multi national processing factories, high rise buildings among others.

This not only shows how organized the movement is but it also highlight the fact that co-operative movement is an important segment of the economy and hence cannot be ignored. Therefore every Kenyan need to be a member of a Sacco within the industry which they thrive in. This does not only help them to access affordable credit and savings products but it also provides an opportunity to pool resources together  for wealth creation and economic empowerment. Saccos operate within a common bond whereby members are drawn from a specific segment of the economy such as health, agriculture e.t.c. This help people with similar needs and interests to pool their resources together to create a sort of a revolving fund where members can borrow at competitive interest rates which are often lower than in the commercial banks.