The State Department of Co-operatives Principal Secretary Ali Noor Ismail has said that the government has begun a process of enhancing regulations governing the country’s co-operatives sector.
Speaking during the opening of Kimisitu Sacco Front Office Services in Nairobi, Noor said that this will enable the sector to cope with the new normal since it had been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The sacco sub-sector just like the rest has not been spared by the pandemic. It is therefore necessary that we work on regulations that will ensure they keep up with the requirements,” he said.
Kimisitu Sacco chairman Philip Ayuko called on the government to speed up the new adoption of regulations.
“We are operating in a new normal and this calls for new ways of doing things. This disruption should be a turning point of how Sacco’s in Kenya operate. We already have our services on the digital platform and regulations will only make them better,” said Ayuko.
The new service launched by the Sacco is expected to improve its performance as it lines up to attract more members.
According to Kimisitu Sacco CEO Lwanga Mbeche, they are a growing Sacco and that step prepares for more members.
“With this new facility, our members can now be confident that the turnaround time for the service will greatly improved. We are a growing Sacco and this step prepares even better for more members,” she said.
Part of the new regulations the PS alluded to include mainstreaming of digital processes as well as online meetings for the sector.
This followed the introduction of COVID-19 protocols by the Ministry of Health that banned gatherings to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Saccos have weighed in on the Economic Impact of COVID- 19 Pandemic on SMEs in Kenya.
The worst hit sectors are SMEs in tourism, restaurant, hotels, transport and trade in both the short and long term due to lockdowns and restricted of movement within Kenya and across the borders.
Recently, the Kenya Co-operative Bank partnered with cross-border payment provider Thunes to launch an alternative global money transfer solution for the SMEs.
The new deal will see Co-opRemit streamline the process of real-time money transfers particularly within Africa, allowing Co-op Bank customers to move funds across the world.
Co-opRemit will make it possible for customers to send money directly to a foreign bank account or mobile number at no extra cost beyond the tariff.
Thune CEO Peter De Caluwe said that they are looking forward to expanding the services to real-time and empowering the SMEs.
“We look forward to expanding their services with real-time, reliable, and convenient payments across the world, and empowering the SME landscape in Africa two contributions which are key to driving the region’s growth,” said Peter De Caluwe.
The Treasury also announced that it is planning to help set up a private sector-led company to de-risk lending to credit-starved small traders after the successful launch of a similar firm for homeowners.
The planned entity, which will take a similar approach as the Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company for home loans, targets to partially cover Sh100 billion in loans extended to cash-strapped micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).