The International Co-operative Alliance in Africa assesses the contribution made by co-operatives to the 2030 Agenda

News

News Finder

30.05.2019

The International Co-operative Alliance in Africa assesses the contribution made by co-operatives to the 2030 Agenda

In 2019, the principal focus of the meeting is the SDG 3: ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”

share news
The meeting of the 6th Technical Committee of the Africa Ministerial Cooperative Conference

The meeting of the 6th Technical Committee of the Africa Ministerial Cooperative Conference is now taking place in the Zimbabwean city of Harare. This morning, participants analysed the contribution of co-operatives to the Sustainable Development Goals, outlined in the UN 2030 Agenda, with a special focus on Goal 3: 'Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages'.

This goal is the central theme of this year's summit, which aims to offer leaders of co-operatives around the world, partners and other interested persons the opportunity to continue studying the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), raise awareness of their importance and become a point of reference for cooperatives around the world.

The summit, which began last Tuesday and will end this Saturday, 1 June, is called ‘Promoting health and well-being in Africa through cooperatives'. During the summit, co-operative leaders from all continents have shared experiences on how to promote healthcare through this management model, keeping in mind that healthcare is a fundamental right as well as a key factor in the achievement of sustainable development goals.

During today's session, success stories of health co-operatives from Spain, Bulgaria, Brazil and Kenya were presented to assess how they have contributed to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3: promoting healthy lives and well-being.

It was in this context that the Espriu Foundation, a network of Spanish health co-operatives, presented the story of its member entities, which make up the second largest network of health co-operatives in the world. Carlos Zarco, director of the foundation and president of the International Health Co-operatives Organization (IHCO), said:

Health co-operatives have proven to be a complementary channel to the national health system of many countries thanks to their sustainability and quality of care. Because they constitute a flexible model that adapts to the needs of people, they can play a very important role in the development of healthcare in low- and middle-income countries

Co-operatives and SDGs: the perfect fit

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has deemed co-operatives a catalyst and an exemplary model for fulfilling the SDGs, since "they are companies created by and for their members, guided not only by strictly economic values but also by social values, and they share the common belief that through collaboration and pursuing a common target, a better world can be achieved."

During the conference, it was stressed that co-operatives constitute an economic and social power with presence in countries around the world and in all types of economic sectors. What's more, the co-operative model combines the ability of workers with financial resources to combat market failures and to continue providing services to communities that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Toward the universalisation of healthcare

As uncovered by the World Health Statistics Report 2018, despite the progress made during the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), set for 2015, the current main challenges to be tackled by the SDGs, set for the year 2030, remain the same: reduce infant and maternal mortality, improve nutrition and combat diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS, which continues to be the leading cause of adult mortality in Africa.

With regard to health cooperatives, it has been pointed out that, although they are not yet well known, their great advantage as a system is their ability to adapt to social, political and economic conditions. They can swiftly take on different forms in relation to these factors and others concerning the environment in which they operate, offering an alternative approach to covering social and human needs, such as the universalisation of healthcare.

During the Africa Ministerial Cooperative Conference, the ICA stressed that "at a time when Africa's population growth and urbanisation are expanding rapidly, the universalisation of healthcare is an extremely urgent goal." For this reason, it is essential that healthcare leaders in Africa are aware of the need to address new approaches to promoting access to quality healthcare.

magazine compartir. Suscription

Free, every 3 months, our magazine in digital version.

Manage my subscriptions

Go to content start