Young people called upon to join cooperatives en masse

The Association for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship (APE-Burundi) held training sessions to members of the executive committees of the Sangwe and Vaso cooperatives based in Bujumbura City from 4 to 5 August 2022. During these trainings, Bely Francis Ngabirano, APE-Burundi representative, called on young people to join cooperatives massively.

“In the current era, no one can achieve much alone. Everyone needs others for help. They need networks and support of all kinds. Hence, a young person who is neither a member of an association nor member of a cooperative is like a soldier who wants to form a battalion on their own and win a battle, what is impossible,” Bely Francis Ngabirano told Shikiriza newspaper.

He adds that the fight against poverty and youth unemployment can never be won for those who work alone.

A message to young members of non-profit associations

The participants in the training sessions held in Ngagara zone

“I would advise young members of other groups such as non-profit associations to create or join cooperatives as well. It is important to integrate both cooperatives and associations.  Associations sometimes have other objectives than economic ones or the financial empowerment of its members. It is very crucial for the youth to defend other causes while chasing their financial empowerment and economic development,” says Bely Francis Ngabirano, arguing that cooperatives are particularly there for economic purposes with objectives of generating financial income to their members.

He calls on young people in cooperatives to have clear and SMART objectives in order to achieve their dreams. For him, it is not enough to join cooperatives without a clear vision, attainable and achievable objectives.

According to him, cooperatives must have visionary and servant leaders who care about problems of their members. Leaders must always work hard to achieve their objectives and finally reach their visions, he adds.

The training has been organized in the framework of the project “Support to the reinforcement of the entrepreneurial capacities of the cooperatives in Bujumbura City”. For the representative of the APE-Burundi, this project was designed to provide governing bodies of cooperatives operating in Bujumbura with knowledge and skills required to help their members overcome poverty and unemployment.