Agriterra has always highlighted the importance of youth participation in cooperatives and farmer organisations. We strive that at least 50% of our cooperative clients will have active youth councils or similar bodies in place and that at least 10% of board members of cooperatives will be 35% or younger.
Knowledge transfer activity to the youth of Mahanje SACCOS
Mahanje SACCOS Ltd is located in Madaba village in Tanzania. It was founded in 1995 with around 68 members and registered in 1998. The SACCOS is a financial Cooperative Society offering financial services (deposits, savings and loans) to its members. It’s the only SACCOS around.
In 2017 Mahanje SACCOS participated in the cooperative governance training, in which one of the challenges identified was youth involvement. The organisation set as a target to include more young member in meetings.
In November 2019 Mahanje participated in the kick-off workshop youth participation. This workshop was organised in Tanzania for the first time. As a result each participating cooperative defined and implemented an action plan focused on youth for 5-6 months. Mahanje set the target to increase young members from 750 to 850 before 2020 and to develop special financial products for youth.
A follow up meeting to the youth participation workshop was planned in April/May 2020 to supervise and guide the organisation in the implementation of the action plan. That same year, in September 2020 a youth exchange visit to Kaycos Amcos Iringa took place to provide peer-to-peer practical learning in both successes and challenges faced by cooperatives to mobilise young members.
In May 2021 the first youth council annual meeting took place at Mahanje SACCOS facilitated by Agriterra Tanzania. 30 youngsters met for the youth council annual general meeting. The agenda of the meeting included an analysis of cooperative performance and youth performance, and the presentation and validation of the annual youth plan.
This plan includes the mobilisation of new young members in rural villages by reaching out to them and promote Mahanje SACCOS financials products through activities like sport and musical events. So far, this strategy has allowed to affiliate 29 new members and revive dormant savings accounts from another 250 young members.
Mahanje SACCOS youth council sport event