Over 80 District Commercial Officers from Acholi, Lango, West Nile region, and the greater part of Bunyoro have undergone three-day capacity and skills enhancement in line with their job description.
The three-day capacity and skills enhancement training of commercial officers that took place in Gulu City at Global Friendship Hotel was to equip the current commercial officers who lack the required skills to educate, train, audit, and supervise these cooperatives.
Ivan Asiimwe, the General Secretary / CEO of Uganda Cooperative Alliance Limited says the cooperative officers who are the foot soldiers on the ground face issues of Capacitation and facilitation, adding the policy requires those working in cooperatives to undergo a cooperative college course to better understand these cooperatives.
“The current commercial officers lack the required skills to educate, train, audit, and supervise these cooperatives”, he says.
He further says to address this issue; the cooperatives are strategically identifying areas that should be focused on, especially during such activities.
He explained that these areas include understanding the cooperative ideology, principles, values, and history of the cooperatives, both globally and in Uganda to bring the entire history of cooperatives from 1761 to 2023, as history is the best teacher.
He revealed that the cooperatives are also focusing on strategic and business planning, record keeping, financial accounting, reporting, cooperative governance and management, and the cooperative legal, policy, and regulatory framework.
“By working together, the cooperatives can become stronger and more efficient in their operations. The government’s support and involvement in this effort will help the cooperatives become stronger and more effective in their efforts” ” he revealed.
He further revealed the focus is on enhancing the skills of commercial officers to support cooperatives, particularly young cooperatives and PDM SACCOs as well as aim to support smallholder farmers and those outside the money economy, particularly the 39% who took advantage of the 39% reduction.
However, he further says after building their capacities, commercial officers are given facilitation to create work plans within their job description. The government acknowledges that commercial officers are not well-facilitated to perform their tasks.
Asiimwe commended the government’s progress for the significant effort in constructing over 276 agro-processing facilities across the country such as the community agricultural infrastructure improvement program under the minister of local government.
Betty Aol Ocan, the Gulu City Woman MP applauded the government’s support and involvement in this effort will help the cooperatives become stronger and more effective in their efforts, and urges the Uganda Co-operative Alliance to continue empowering commercial officers so that they become stronger and more efficient in their operation.
Kitgum Municipality Mp Denis Onekalit Amere says at least the principles of Uganda co-operatives alliance have been well brought to the commercial officers, financial principles and general ethics and this will motivate the commercial officers by giving those data and reawakening their commitments in the field as commercial officers in the district.
He cited that of late the commercial officers had challenges and experienced a lot of issues that happened as far as mismanagement is concerned in the officers of the commercial officer, particularly in the department of PDM and the knowledge attained will help improve their effectiveness.
Emmanuel Okello, Otuke District Commercial Officer says the training that he got is going to be a bigger lift in areas such as record management, recruiting more members, and also growing their share capital with the skills and knowledge attained.
Michael Ojok, District Commercial Officer Pader thanked UCA for the capacity skill training and promised to commit to delivering quality services to the citizens