Co-op Bank organizes workshop for CEOs to discuss technology and innovation for sustainable development

Co-operative Bank, through its subsidiary, Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency on Thursday concluded its Annual National Co-operatives workshop where CEOs from across the country deliberated key issues concerning the industry.

The workshop themed Co-operatives Tomorrow: Technology and Innovation for Sustainable and Inclusive Development was presided over by the PS State Department for Co-operative Development, Mr. Ali Noor Ismail, who in his keynote speech highlighted the importance of leveraging technology in Co-operatives to spur innovation.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Noor Ismail explained that co-operatives are operating smarter today than they did in the past due to the adoption of technology.

“With adoption of technology in Co-operatives, we have seen new types of products introduced that meet more specific needs of members, improve liquidity in Saccos and even yield better margins for Co-operatives,” he stated.

Co-op Bank Director, Co-operatives Division, Mr. Vincent Marangu (left) with Mr. Noor Ismail, Principal Secretary State Department for Co-operative Development

The three-day workshop focused on engaging the CEOs on how to revolutionize their societies and operate within the competitive business environment with the constantly changing market dynamics. The bank’s subsidiary Co-op Consultancy’s main role is to enhance the institutional capacities of co-operative societies, who are the core stakeholders of the bank.

Speaking at the workshop, Coop Bank Director Co-operatives Division, Mr. Vincent Marangu stated that the bank facilitates such workshops every year to create an environment where co-operatives can  deliberate, share learnings and build each other.

“We understand that organizations are faced with numerous institutional challenges which they must address in order to attain their goals in the dynamic business environment in the country,” he said.

This year’s workshop covered a wide range of topics such as building technological capabilities in Co-operatives which will help the participants think strategically about technology beyond adoption and managing the associated risks. It had a panel discussion focusing on three key areas, building capacity in terms of strategy, governance and security.

It also covered demystifying digital transformation in Co-operatives; many Co-operatives have carried out system changes and adopted new technologies but they are not fully digital. The session gave a breakdown what digital transformation is and demonstrate what the Co-operatives need to do to achieve it. They also covered management and expansion of the Agricultural value chain, this session challenged the participants to think further on what they can do to expand their value chain and introduce new alternatives to their existing business models.

The Co-operatives CEOs  also covered managing technology partnership, leadership and coaching and the Impact of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti Money Laundering Act (PoCAMLA) to bring on board Deposit-taking SACCOs into mandatory reporting of large transactions in respect to prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

This workshop is one of several trainings offered to Co-operatives by Co-operative Bank, through Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency, to help them in capacity building, development and growth.

The vibrant and dynamic co-operative movement in Kenya is a key player in the economy, controlling about over 40 per cent of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The Co-operative Societies in Kenya employs more than 500,000 people, besides providing opportunities for self-employment to many more. Savings and credit societies (SACCOs), the fastest growing sub-sector in the movement, controls over 30 percent of national savings.

Co-operative House, Headquarters of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya