By Malachi Motano
President Uhuru Kenyatta led the national celebration of 2019 international day of cooperatives which is reffered to in Kenya as Ushirika Day and celebrated at the Counties as a result of devolution.
The national celebrations kicked off in Nairobi with President Kenyatta commissioning the revamped New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) Dandora Factory.
The President then proceeded to Upper Hill to officially open the National Co-operative Housing Union (NACHU) Plaza followed by Mwalimu Towers in the same area with the the climax of Ushirika Day celebrations at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) where he delivered his keynote address as the Chief Guest.
He was accompanied by Trade and Industrialisation CS Peter Munya and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
The Head of state directed Trade and Industrialization Peter Munya to start restructuring Kenya Farmers Association and Kenya Planters Co-operative Union for the benefit of farmers.
The cooperative movement in Kenya is ranked high in Africa and is one of the best globally due to its asset base. Saccos hold the key to the most effective realization of the Big 4 Agenda due to their ability to mobilise savings and also offer the most affordable credit to millions of households countrywide.
According to the Department of Cooperatives, there are 23,000 registered cooperative societies, which share among them 14 million members. Collectively, the cooperatives hold Sh732 billion of member savings, control an asset base of Sh1 trillion and a Sh700 billion loan portfolio.