ICA-Africa Regional Board
High Chief Ayeola Tajudeen Oriyomi - (Nigeria)
He has 26 years of cooperative experience having presided over all the four tiers of Cooperative Administration in Nigeria (Primary Societies, Cooperative Union, State Cooperative Federation and presently, Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, the umbrella body of all Cooperative organizations in Nigeria) with estimated members of over 40million Cooperators.
He is a graduate of Economics Education and currently works with the Lagos State Civil Service as a Deputy Director of Education. He ventured into cooperatives in 1995 as co-founder of Alaro Standing Order Cooperative from a terminable contribution group to a formidable cooperative society. He also co-founded and served as pioneer President of Nigeria Union of Teachers(Epe), Cooperative Multipurpose Society Ltd. He was later elected President of Lagos State Cooperative Federation (LASCOFED) in July, 2012 in a keenly contested election and re-elected unopposed in 2016 for another 4-year tenure.
As President of LASCOFED, he contributed to the agriculture value chain with establishment of cooperative staple foods, pioneered the establishment of cooperative insurance & health care schemes and contributed to housing in Lagos State with drive for members to build cooperative sponsored houses and estates. This he also replicated with the building and commissioning of a gigantic office complex for the Lagos State Cooperative Federation. Since his Presidency of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, the National Cooperative Movement has witnessed more visibility with the Cooperative being utilized for the ongoing National Social Housing programme, an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He is a Member of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT); Fellow, Institute of Professional Managers and Administrators of Nigeria; Patron, Association of Nigerian Authors (Lagos Chapter); Honorary Fellow, Institute of Cooperative Professionals of Nigeria (ICOPRON); Board Member, Prolific Microfinance Bank Ltd; Board Member, Cooperative Mortgage Bank Ltd. Aside his numerous contributions to the Cooperative Movement, he contributed positively to the lives of his kinsmen and his hometown, Epe. This earned him his Chieftaincy title as a High Chief with conferment on him as the Arobayo of Epe Land. He is widely travelled, an avid reader, an astute Leader and a Cooperator per excellence.
Mr. George Magutu - (Kenya)
George Magutu is the Group National Chairman of the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (KUSCCO) Ltd. and the Treasurer of New Fortis SACCO. He has served the movement for over 20 years in various capacities, where he has contributed to the growth and development of the financial services sector through various financial inclusion programs. Under his watch, KUSCCO has grown its business tenfold to include three (3) Subsidiary Companies, viz: Insurance Company; Housing Cooperative and ICT Cloud Computing Company for SACCOs. He is keen on development and mentorship program for leaders and has immense wealth of experience. He is also trained and certified in Corporate Governance and is a certified International Cooperative Development Educator Program (ICUDE). Moreover, he has attended various international seminars and conferences on management and leadership in the USA, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and UK.
He continues to serve in the following Boards: WOCCU (World Council of Credit Unions); Cooperative Alliance of Kenya (CAK); NEDAC (Network for Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Asia and Pacific); KUSCCO Limited; KUSCCO Mutual Assurance and New Fortis SACCO.
Mr. Gereger Mesfin Gebreslassie - (Ethiopia)
Gereger Gebreslassie is the chairperson of the Board of Directors/ Executive committees at AWACH Savings and Credit Cooperative. He has served in the banking sector of Ethiopia for 24 years from clerk up to Vice-President level. Worked as Director of the Ethiopian Institute of Banking and Insurance for 12 years before joining Awach SACCOS in 2012 where he has served as a Deputy Chairperson for two years and now the Chairperson for the past two and half years. He is also the Managing director of Tentag Consultancy.
Under my leadership and guidance, Awach has secured tremendous achievements in size of members, savings mobilization, quality of loan portfolio, capital increase and good image and acceptance by the society.
Mr. Gebreslassie holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Planning and a BA Degree in Economics.
Mr. Nyemb Jean Christian - (Cameroon)
Mr NYEMB Jean Christian was inspired to join the cooperative when he listened to Pope Francis speech to the members of the Confederation of Italian Cooperatives in 2015. He has served as the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Central Union of Cooperatives for Agro-industry and Sustainable Development of Cameroon (UCCOOPADCAM). He later became the founding president of COOP-CAMEROON which is national apex of the Cameroonian cooperative movement.
In his position, he has been able to fully register COOP-CAMEROON, organized for the 1st National Congress of Cooperatives of Cameroon, initiated the public-private partnership agreement between the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts (MINPMEESA) & COOP-CAMEROON, chaired the drafting committee of the National Strategy for the Supervision and Promotion of the Cooperative Business Model in the Communes (SNEPECC). He also chaired the drafting committee of the internal regulations of Cameroon Cooperatives Alliance and the Statutes of its 10 sectoral organizations:
Mr NYEMB was instrumental in the registration of Cameroon Cooperatives Alliance (COOP-CAMEROON) membership to ICA. He chairs the steering committee of the program for the National Promotion of Development through cooperative action with decentralized territorial communities (PNDAC). He is the promoter and Chairman of the management committee of the Cooperative Network of Means SCAAD Scoops (Associated Cooperative Societies for Agroeconomics and Sustainable Development).
Mr. Obateng Thapelo - (Botswana)
Mr. Thapelo is the Board Chairperson and founder of Ditsweletse Housing Cooperative Union a Secondary Cooperative society with membership of around 20,000 and assert base of 50 million USD. He also serves as a board member of Ditswammung Saccos a cooperative society formed by employees of Diamond Trading company Botswana (DTCB).
He is among the team working on cooperative digitalization project in Botswana which is at an advanced stage. The projected is coordinated at an apex level and it is part of Botswana cooperative transformation strategy. The project is rolled out on financial and nonfinancial cooperatives. He also coordinated a project of electrifying Kacgae Cooperative Society by Sola Energy which was donated by Ditswammung Saccos and part of the organizing committee for International Cooperative Day Celebrations in Botswana.
He holds a Diploma in Accounting and Business Studies, a Certificate in Banking and Finance
BPP online and an Association of Accounting Technician level4 (Under study).
Ms. Hilda Ojall - (Kenya)
She developed a great admiration and inspiration in working with youth and youth member owned institutions. Through her work with the youth, she has interacted with young men and women and had an opportunity to mentor youth in different sub regions of Africa. She is currently working with the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (KUSCCO) subsidiary company - Mutual Assurance.
Hilda is a certified Credit Union Development Educator (ADE). She has completed the D.E program, and is an educator of Credit Union /Saccos addressing different issues across Africa that affect Cooperatives.
She is a former President of International Cooperative Alliance – Africa Youth Network (ICA-Africa YN) and Vice-president of International Cooperative Alliance Youth Network (ICA-YN). As the first ever elected President of ICA-Africa YN, Hilda has been instrumental in the formation of the Network’s regional committee and increased the number of youth engagement and participation to the Network’s activities hence increased cooperative visibility.
During her tenure, Hilda has organized for a number of national, regional, and global platforms to promote financial literacy, climate action through the “Go green campaign”, the Global Youth Forum (GYF 20 and 21), Global Cooperative Entrepreneurship (GCE) pilot program as a mentor to promoted business start-ups in the Africa region. She has also helped the ICA- Africa YN to get the affiliate member status with the African Youth Commission and ensured youth engagement discussions with different stakeholders such as DGRV, Fairtrade Africa, Aflatoun International and International Trade Centre.
Abubakar Sadiq Labaran - (Nigeria)
Labaran Started engaging with cooperative as a Liaison Officer at Endwell Teachers Cooperative Multipurpose Society in Niger State. Due to his commitment and passion for agriculture, he was sponsored by his employer to have his first-degree education at African University of Technology and Management, Benin Republic. He graduated in 2016 with First Class Honour in Animal Production and rejoined the employer as a Farm Manager.
In 2018, he joined the Young Farmers Association of Nigeria. While as member of the association, he pioneered the formation where young farmers are able to support each other in the field of agriculture i.e. crop, poultry and livestock production. As a result of his involvement in the Cooperative Movement in Niger State, he was nominated in 2018 by the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria to represent the country in a training course held in Malaysia and Japan titled Fostering and Improvising Management of Agriculture in Africa. As action point of the training, he organized training for farmers in Niger State at the end of 2018.
His knack for development of the Cooperative Movement was recognized and rewarded by young farmers in Niger, therefore, he was elected as the President of Young Farmers Association of Nigeria, Niger State Chapter. He was equally elected as the Chairman of Niger East Young Farmers Club.
He has participated in several cooperative trainings, seminars and conferences held internationally, nationally and locally. He was Panelist at a youth forum organized by Cooperative Federation of Nigeria. He is presently the Youth representative of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria.
Secretary to the Board and Regional Director
Dr. Chiyoge Buchekabiri Sifa - (DR Congo)
Dr Chiyoge Buchekabiri Sifa is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her experience with cooperative movement dates back to the 1990s when she was working as management trainee with the Central Cooperative for Savings and Credits (COCCEC-KIVU) in Bukavu, Zaire. More recently, she was engaged with the movement in developing strategic plan for cooperatives in Kenya, as deputy director in charge of cooperative capacity building and training with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Most recently, she was director, Cooperatives Program at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation agency (ATA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In that capacity, she spearheaded the development of a five-year sector development strategy for agricultural cooperatives in Ethiopia that entailed consultations with diverse range of stakeholders.
She holds a Ph.D. Strategic Management and has had over 25 years of work experience cutting across communication, aviation, humanitarian services, academia, agriculture, and cooperatives development across Africa. She has also served as a Senior Lecturer and Examiner in several universities in Africa. She is widely travelled in promotion of higher education, agriculture and cooperatives development and marketing. She has also consulted for various local and international organisations, both profit and non-profit, and government on policy advocacy and reform, organizational development, business transformation, resource mobilization, and alternative financial instruments in human and sustainable development.
Dr. Sifa is the immediate former EU-Africa Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Representative on the European Commission Policy Forum on Development (PFD) and former Cooperatives representative to the European Economic and Social Committee – Africa Caribbean and Pacific- European Commission (EESC- ACP-EU) follow up committee of the (European Commission) EC, and the current Regional Director and CEO of International Cooperative Alliance-Africa. Currently leading the development and operationalization of the Alliance Africa Agricultural Cooperative Organisation, a vehicle for smallholder producers to secure their livelihoods and play a greater role in meeting the growing demand for food on local, national and international markets, and to contribute to poverty alleviation, food security and the eradication of hunger.