Cooperative Spirit Brings Malawi and Missouri Together
MCUA hosts African delegation as part of World Council program
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — In pursuit of providing better service to credit union members, six representatives from the Malawi Union of Savings & Credit Co-operatives Ltd (MUSCCO) last week traveled 8,600 miles to meet with their global peers at the Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA). As a first step toward a partnership fostered by the World Council of Credit Unions, MCUA hosted the group from Malawi's savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs), or credit unions, with the hope of gaining greater knowledge of each other's credit union systems.
Mike Beall, MCUA president and CEO (center), welcomes delegates from Malawi, including (left to right) Albert Moyo, Mzimba Teacher's SACCO; Charles Nyekanyeka, Bvumbwe Community SACCO; Sylvester Kadzola, MUSCCO; Beall; Faith Manganda, MUSCCO; Brian Chyuse, Fodya SACCO LTD and Itai Msiska, Karonga Teachers SACCO.
The goal of the May 5-16 visit was to establish education and networking opportunities between MCUA and MUSCCO, soon to be one of 18 relationships managed by World Council's International Partnerships Program. The program's purpose is to foster the sharing of information and technology between state and national organizations and their counterparts in developing countries for the economic wellbeing of credit union members across the globe, according to Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO.
"We very much appreciate MCUA's participation in the International Partnerships Program and their role in hosting the MUSCCO delegation," said Branch. "The two organizations have a great deal of information to share for the mutual benefit and development of more comprehensive and effective member services."
The visitors, led by World Council Director Sylvester Kadzola, CEO of MUSCCO, represented five credit unions from three districts in Malawi. During their stay, group members participated in Missouri's state credit union foundation conference, visited local credit union branches, were recognized by the Missouri General Assembly in Jefferson City, and traveled to Washington, D.C., for a Credit Union National Association briefing and a meeting with the National Credit Union Administration.
"It's astonishing how two leagues serving different countries and continents can mutually assist each other by sharing philosophies, best practices and ideas," said Mike Beall, MCUA president and CEO. "We are proud to share a partnership with our friends in Malawi to strengthen the international spirit of cooperation."
When asked what they will take back from their experience with MCUA, the Malawians cited as key learning outcomes fostering collaboration among credit unions to realize economies of scale, standardizing reporting techniques, sharing back-end analysis on quarterly reports and implementing financial literacy programs to better educate members on credit union products and services. The visit constituted the inaugural meeting of the two partnering organizations. A delegation from Missouri and World Council will travel to Malawi in early 2013 to sign the partnership agreement make the partnership official.
"The visit has been truly inspirational and educational, and the delegation from Malawi is going back with renewed confidence and optimism of the enormous benefits that will accrue to the Malawi SACCO movement from this partnership," says Kadzola. "We see tremendous growth and financial services diversification and sophistication ahead of us as a result of this partnership."
El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.
El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 51,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 100 países atienden a 196 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.
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Contacto principal: Mike Muckian
Organización: World Council of Credit Unions