International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) is a non-governmental Cooperative Federation representing the Cooperative Movement worldwide. It unites cooperatives worldwide and is the custodian of Cooperative values and principles. International Cooperative Alliance-Africa (ICA-Africa) is one of the four regional offices of ICA that serves, unites and represents ICA member organizations in Africa by promoting and strengthening autonomous and viable cooperatives through capacity building and policy advocacy for the socio-economic benefit of its members.
The Regional office has been in operation for over 51 years ago. ICA-Africa had two regional offices –one established for East, Central and Southern Africa (ROECSA) in 1968 in Moshi Tanzania, and another one in West Africa (ROWA).
ROWA office was first located in Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) and later moved to Burkina Faso where it assisted in carrying its mandate to its members who were mostly from the Agricultural sector. Membership in the region was primarily agricultural with eleven of the fourteen member organizations being agricultural unions or federations. Other sectors represented included savings and credit, health and training and education. The office was later closed in 2005.
The ICA Board meeting held in September 2004 in Warsaw decided to merge the two former ICA Regional Offices (ROWA and ROESCA) into one ICA Regional office for Africa. In the same year (2004) October in Praia/Cape Verde adopted the merging of the two ICA regional offices into one.
The Board and Regional assembly also resolved:
- One regional office to be based in Nairobi, Kenya
- The ROWA office in Burkina Faso was to remain as a project office for some time until it was closed
- Appointment of one new Regional Director
Later ROECSA relocated to Kenya and was registered in January 1996. It was certified and exempted from registration under section 10 of the Non-Government Organisation Act, 1990 of the Kenyan Law.
In the year 2005, a new Regional Director for Africa office was appointed who took his assignment starting January 2005.
This re-organization of the office had its own implications and requirements in terms of administrative, statutory, strategy, planning, human resources, member financial participation and budgetary allocations.