MADISON, Wis.—World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has announced the addition of the Ghana Co-operative Credit Union Association (CUA) and Seychelles Credit Union to the international trade association's membership roster. The WOCCU board of directors approved membership applications for both African organizations at its November meeting in San Diego, with memberships becoming effective Jan. 1, 2009.
The board also approved the transference of WOCCU's Australian membership from current member Cuscal Ltd., a wholesale provider of capital, liquidity and financial services products, to ABACUS, the trade association for Australian credit unions and mutual building societies. The change, which also becomes effective Jan. 1, coincides with the retirement of John Gilbert, president and Cuscal CEO, who will end his tenure as a WOCCU director. Gilbert's WOCCU board position will be assumed by Louise Petschler, ABACUS CEO.
"We're very pleased with our continued growth and our ability to serve more members in Africa, one of the world's fastest-growing credit union markets," said Pete Crear, president and WOCCU CEO. "Along with the changes in Australia, our new members reflect a continued strengthening of the global credit union market and its increased ability to serve even more people worldwide."
CUA, founded in 1968, had previously been affiliated with WOCCU through its membership in ACCOSCA, the African regional credit union confederation. CUA has 322 member credit unions that serve 242,000 individual members throughout Ghana and hold US$107 million in total assets. CUA's acceptance as an independent WOCCU member marks a major step forward for the association's development, according to Emanuel Darko, CUA's general manager.
"The dream of CUA's board of directors and management was to become a member of World Council of Credit Unions," Darko said. "I am sure the board, management and the entire membership of Ghana's credit union movement will welcome the good news with great joy."
Seychelles Credit Union serves inhabitants of the Seychelles islands off Africa's eastern coast and is the country's only credit union with 10,620 members and holding US$8.7 million in assets. As the island nation's only credit union, the institution also serves as the de facto national credit union association for WOCCU membership.
Representatives from CUA, Seychelles Credit Union and ABACUS will be introduced and given the opportunity to speak to delegates at WOCCU's next Annual General Meeting, to be held in conjunction with the 2009 World Credit Union Conference, July 26-29, in Barcelona, Spain.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.