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Trade Ministry issues new guidelines for cooperatives

Cooperatives may have to consider and adopt virtual meetings as an alternative for traditional physical meetings – Hon. Frederick Ngobi. PHOTO via @UgandaMediaCent

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives has issued new guidelines to cooperative societies around the country during this COVID-19 period.

Speaking to the media at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Frederick Gume Ngobi, the State Minister for Cooperatives said they have allowed the leaders of cooperatives whose terms have expired to continue serving until such a time when a ban on public meetings is lifted.

On March 18, the government slapped a ban on all public meetings as a means of stopping the spread of  the coronavirus disease in the country. However, Gume said they have been given instructions not to spend the cooperative’s money during this time.

Gume said that the cooperatives have also faced a problem of members who have failed to meet their loan obligations mainly because their businesses were adversely affected by the effects of the lockdown occasioned by an outbreak of coronavirus disease.

He however promised that the government will help them get back to their feet especially by ensuring that they benefit from money put in Uganda Development Bank and The Microfinance Support Centre.

Meanwhile, the Minister called on every member of a cooperative to plant a tree as a means of responding to the changing weather patterns that have greatly affected their members especially those engaged in agriculture. The message comes days after the 27th United Nations Day of Cooperatives held every first Saturday of July.

This year’s celebrations were held under the theme ‘Cooperatives for Climate Change’. Uganda has 21,454 registered Cooperatives with over 10 million members.

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