Con­sul­tant to help re­vive co­op­er­a­tives

Lesotho Times - - Business - Bereng Mpaki

THE Min­istry of Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing has en­gaged a United King­dom-based con­sul­tant as part of ef­forts to re­vive ail­ing youth co­op­er­a­tives which are seen as crit­i­cal in ad­dress­ing un­em­ploy­ment.

The Welsh con­sul­tant, Ni­cola Me­he­gan, is in the country for two months and will work with the Le­sotho Youth Co­op­er­a­tive Al­liance (LYCA) — which sup­ports its af­fil­i­ates through train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing among oth­ers. LYCA has 17 pri­mary youth co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­eties un­der its purview.

Wales has a thriv­ing co­op­er­a­tive move­ment which contributes sig­nif­i­cantly to the Europe- an na­tion’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Ms Me­he­gan, who works at the Wales Co­op­er­a­tive Cen­tre, told the Le­sotho Times this week she in­tends to raise aware­ness among pupils and teach­ers on the im­por­tance of co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­eties in schools.

“I will work with LYCA on a num­ber of ob­jec­tives that in­clude strength­en­ing the al­liance by iden­ti­fy­ing their train­ing needs and then de­vel­op­ing pro­grammes to sup­port those re­quire­ments,” she said.

“I will also ad­dress mem­bers of LYCA. I have al­ready met with the LYCA hi­er­ar­chy and they have sug­gested that I deal with is­sues that have to do with the sus­tain­abil­ity of co­op­er­a­tives since a num­ber of them have closed shop.”

Ms Me­he­gan said among the chal­lenges she in­tended to tackle was the per­cep­tion that co­op­er­a­tives were for old peo­ple and not nec­es­sar­ily for youths.

“There are youths in Le­sotho who can bring use­ful skills into co­op­er­a­tives, for ex­am­ple that of us­ing so­cial me­dia,” she said.

“A lot of work needs to be done to im­prove the man­age­ment of co­op­er­a­tives, which has been plagued by so many chal­lenges that need to be ad­dressed.”

On his part, LYCA Pres­i­dent, Khombel­wayo Mlotshwa, said they were look­ing for­ward to learn­ing from Ms Me­he­gan, since they had ex­pe­ri­enced nu­mer­ous chal­lenges.

“We have high hopes that her visit will go a long way in equip­ping us with the skills needed to em­power our af­fil­i­ates,” Mr Mlotshwa said. “We will pass on the skills and knowl- edge we ex­pect to get from her. “We have chal­lenges that we hope she will help us to ad­dress be­fore the end of her visit.”

The Min­istry of Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Co­op­er­a­tives and Mar­ket­ing Chief In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer, Ret­selisit­soe Sekake, also told this pa­per that they were fast-track­ing the de­vel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­eties to help re­duce the high un­em­ploy­ment rate among the youth.

“Our min­istry is charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of ad­dress­ing the chal­lenge of un­em­ploy­ment fo­cus­ing mainly on the youth,” he said.

“We are there­fore ex­am­in­ing a num­ber of strate­gies among which are co­op­er­a­tives. We be­lieve th­ese can act as a cat­a­lyst to self-re­liance among youths.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.