President of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Mr Oriyomi Ayeola, has been elected the president of International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Africa region.
Prior to his election, Ayeola was a board member of the ICA. He was elected at the 8th Technical Committee of the Africa Ministerial Cooperative Conference and the 15th Regional Assembly of ICA held recently.
He succeeds Mr Japhet Magomere, who served from 2018 to 2021 and retired voluntarily. To ascend the exalted office, Ayeola had presented to the Alliance a message of hope, bordering on repositioning the continental body to enable it to pick up immediately after the devastation heralded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told the gathering of windows of opportunities to explore, saying the opportunities could be harnessed if members build on gains, particularly those made in the last 20 years.
He broke down his proposed action plan into 12, namely: Rigorous mobilisation of women and youths into the African cooperative movement through the provision of technical training and allied resources.
capacitation of the national apex cooperatives in Africa through up-scaling of their potential; increased involvement of the African cooperative movement in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) through synergies with relevant international development partners; promotion of synergies aimed at providing enabling environment for cooperative development through the development of the legal frameworks on cooperatives; and promotion of exchange programme and study visits among African cooperatives.
He also promised to strengthen the youth network; promotion of cooperative education; promotion of the ICA, Africa region along the eight sectoral divisions of the International Cooperative Alliance; promotion of successful cooperative models as observed in some African countries to serve as prototypes in the other African countries; and the promotion of transnational cooperatives through a proposed Africa Cooperative Society.”
Other elected officers were Mr George Magutu of Kenya as vice president; Mr Mesfin Gebreslassie Gereger of Ethiopia, member-at-large; Mr Nyemb Jean Christian of Cameroon, member-at-large; Mr Thapelo Obateng of Botswana, member-at-large; and Ms Hilda Ojall of Kenya, women representative.
As the president of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, Ayeola contributed to the development of cooperatives in Nigeria by creating an agriculture value chain with the establishment of cooperative staple foods.