In the first time such concept “African Youth Cooperative City”, Hon. Mohamed M Maie, president and CEO of the MALAQ MAYE COOPERATIVE INSTITUTE, discuss the development of the organization and their unique initiative “Cooprenourship”, the connection between Cooperative, entrepreneurship and international development, contemporary challenges and opportunities facing Africa, and much more about African youth solidarity economic development.
1. Since when this concept becoming a reality? As a CEO of the MALAQ MAYE COOPERATIVE INSTITUTE, Please reflect on how the concept which spear headed by you has evolved in terms of approach, reach, and networked.
M.Maie: When talking about the MALAQ MAYE COOPERATIVE INSTITUTE’s evolution,
For me, as part of post conflict member of African Diasporas and a member of community leaders which participate ongoing dialogue of how to find solutions inside and outside of Africa’s indecent saga of manmade disunity and scarcity of food security. More over the youth population that endangering their lives in Mediterranean ocean for searching employment or so-call better life. My prompted response was to create new Pan-African Institute which can come up new movement of economic based approach and my argument is that, “In order for African Youth to stay, work and witness prosperity in Africa that can truly transform from small individual developments to system-wide outcome-changing institutional structures, reliance on African village solidarity and African resources can be sufficient.”
I suggested that my thoughtful approach to collaborating with African government and Institutions in planning demands a “wider concept of the role of cooperatives than many people, including youth co-op practitioners, envision.” I can add “ we are not content with a political-economic system dominated by western values of large corporate institutions and individualistic patent by increasingly adverse social, environmental, and political outcomes that also retains an ethical, but ultimately marginal economic sector?”
I agree that current entrepreneurship are stalled by an market economic system that pitches many difficulties before our African people gain any meaningful economic representations. Our accomplishment is likely to be painfully slow in the aspect by the global crisis twisted by so call free enterprise. However, I have confidence in future Africa will lead great prosperity and our next generations they will find a fine living standers.
2. What is Cooprenourship ? how you come up such mix of Social enterprise or Entrepreneurship? Explain us more ?
M Maie: In 2007, I had a logic discussions with African Diaspora leaders in Canada/USA that the impression of a social enterprise and entrepreneurship with their modernisations as solitary in solving critical social, economic and environmental problems of Africa . we agreed that those system will really going to vibrate in a vain if we can not lead a new transformation to young people in and outside Africa. Furthermore. We can say that our youth will miss the upcoming golden years of Africa’s prosperity and when the global need Africa’s resources and skills more important. I wish my perception turned out to be right; I really waited this moment for this idea to take in shape and compress Cooperative, Entrepreneurs and Development to one idiom “Cooprenourship”. Since then, I’ve been really pleased by the commitment, how African practitioners, young people and business schools and academic institutions have embraced this idea which we signed MOU with Cooperative University of Kenya.
I know that our “ Cooprenourship” model is very unique work, especially through our youth and knowledge based partnership institutions within Africa and globally, Africa have to play a momentous role in making and leading youth driven economic development and mix of social entrepreneurship “ Cooprenourship” a mainstream idea. Today, we’re no longer trying to build awareness of a concept thou we will continue hosting public education and seminars until next summer 2018 that can be our showcase in Nairobi-Kenya.
Now that more young people know about cooperatives, they’re asking hard questions: what’s the evidence that it works in this advance technology time? In enterprise with many of the youth driven business and Africa’s most outstanding entrepreneurs, we’re determined to address this concerns , to prove that Cooprenourship and their innovations can drive economic and social progress at scale in and outside Africa.
3. How would you describe the “ AFRICAN YOUTH COOPERATIVE CITY” ’s focus on Africa, and vision for a more peaceful and prosperous Africa?
M Maie: I knew there were never initiated such concept of youth entrepreneurial leadership in any African country or the continent at large, as well as youth driven cooperative festival to enhance the cooperative movement of Africa. the cooperative sector who were passive for the last 5 decades can not build African youth ambition, as creative, as focused, as orderly, and tuned in to market response mechanisms as the most collective successful business ventures that eradicate poverty in Africa. So our idea is that investing in solutions ( Economic Solidarity) to some of the Africa’s really threatening problems unemployment and radicalization could be highly leveraged if it was channeled through a annual promotion of Cooperatives ( AFRICAN YOUTH COOPERATIVE CITY). This assembly of the talented solution is really at the core of our investment strategy. Add in a strong organization that can execute its plans and strong partnerships with young people and business schools and academic institutions to accelerate scaling, and you see real progress. Thanks Mombasa County (Kenya) as the first city expected this vision in 2015 and Leadership of Cooperative University of Kenya(CUK) as we partnered and signed MOU last July 2017.
4. What can business, academics and practitioners of international development learn from this emerging field of Cooperative entrepreneurship” Cooprenourship”? And similarly, what can Cooperative Entrepreneurs learn from business and development experts?
M Maie: To answer this question, I put myself in the shoes of the entrepreneurs, cooperatives and international development I worked all this sectors and I know, most of whom are engaging on two or three fronts. They’re on the ground with people and communities( customers), their inventions undertaking profit and some times poverty, productivity, human training, skill development, education and much more. But they’re also contesting another blight, a system of greed, social responsibility and a paradigm of development that can be inefficient, ineffective, and wasteful, and out to prove there’s a better way. That why I have confidence this initiative will comprehensive contribute a new methods of poverty eradication in and outside Africa.
One of many great illustrations of a Cooprenourship different on those fronts is western style of entrepreneurship for youth in Africa can not solve or be the solution, because World Bank, IMF and many good intention organizations have failed to uplift African youth for more then 5 decades. The Malaq Maye Cooperative Institute’s approach to bringing Cooprenourship in Africa is based on a unique network of cooperative, entrepreneurs and international development program that ensures 100 percent consistency job and wealth creation, while preserving informal village based network or wealth caring.
This Story is sponsored by: Abel Communications
5. What makes this upcoming gathering in Nairobi- Kenya (2018) unique( AFRICAN YOUTH COOPERATIVE CITY), and why is it so important for the concept?
M Maie: What makes the AFRICAN YOUTH COOPERATIVE CITY unique is to its purpose: it is specifically designed to accelerate the impact of the Africa’s leading economic solidarity, youth entrepreneurship and youth skill development. It does this by carrying the Africa’s most outstanding Cooprenours together with their associates, partners, and champions. as well as some of those private and public institutions, universities, practitioners international development I stated earlier – for three days of learning, sharing, networking and building Pan-African movement with global vision.
Each year, we will target a mix of delegates from cooperatives, entrepreneurs, academics and practitioners in social and economic sectors vital to scaling social and economic development influence: media, policy, business, finance, philanthropy and academe. We strive as well for international representation UN, USAID, CIDA, SIDA, Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank and etc., we will have delegates from continent of Africa.
At the end of the three days, though, what really distinguishes the AFRICAN YOUTH COOPERATIVE CITY annual conference and forum is that Cooprenourship and their innovative solutions to the challenges of our youth are the center of our presentations while economic solidarity will showcase a new Pan African Movement. They infuse the Forum with its special feeling of community and they inspire everyone who attends with a real sense that change is possible with prosperity- Yes we’re doing it!
6. As you look ahead into the next decade, what reservations you the most about the sector of Cooprenourship ? And at the same time, what are you most hopeful about?
M.Maie: Well, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of the tasks confronting us and African youth, whether it’s geopolitical instability, climate change, Technology progressing, resource depletion, food security, disease, and the deep gloom of manmade poverty in Africa: these are truly challenging trials that affect us all. So when I think about the energies of Cooprenourship and the scale of these tasks well, That said, I also know that Africa had Cooperatives for long time and values of rural social net have extraordinary potential to make real advance this initiative; what Africa’s youth need are what all young people need such as brilliant teams, great associates, thoughtful venture, and supportive policies in each country and the continent of Africa as whole.
Our task at the Malaq Maye Cooperative Institute is to assistance deliver Pan African value that fast-tracks meaningful skill development and progress. When I reflection where we’ve done this well both in USA/Canada, I look at our work and co-initiated with City of Minneapolis( State of Minnesota), where City’ve invested more than grant support of C-TAP(In 2016 the City of Minneapolis created C-TAP (Co-op Technical Assistance Program), a program to support the development of new and existing co-ops. As Well as Our Institute have partnership discussions to accelerate signed an MOU with Cooperative University of Kenya (CUK) for the purpose of ensuring millions of African students to access to the Cooprenourship model of education and skill development to participate African economic growth.
RELATED: Episode 25: How a Young Fearless Guinean is set out to modernize Guinea with an Uber like Company
7. If you were giving a opportunity to meet African Leaders at AU, what would be your first Priority to ask?
M Maie: Next months and next year at organizing this important conference/forum, I am chairing and might be the master of ceremonies for our Cooprenourship Awards Ceremony. I wish from them to open their doors and adopt new policy of promoting Cooprenourship as a model for African youth development. I am looking their support and I’ve been extremely blessed in my journey and work at the Malaq Maye Cooperative Institute to have that kind of support. I can never thank them enough.