The credit union movement is an international phenomenon. Our training to become credit union development educators and African development educators (and Angela’s to become an international CUDE and advanced African DE) reinforced in our minds and hearts the value of global cooperation. That’s why we’ve gotten involved in learning and idea exchanges with credit unions in Africa. From our experiences, we know first-hand that everyone benefits when we put our heads together.
It’s important to keep in mind that African savings and credit cooperatives are ahead of North American credit unions in some areas. For example, the democratic structure of African SACCOs is something North American credit unions and their members could learn a lot from.
More specifically, members of SACCOs are very active in their annual meetings and election of their board members. They embrace the second cooperative principle, that of democratic control, and each member takes their single vote seriously. It’s not unusual to have 100% of their member delegates present at every annual meeting.
continue reading »