NAIROBI, Kenya – East African savings and credit co-operatives can go a long way in helping the more than 80% of the population here who rely on agriculture to live. This was the message delivered by WOCCU President/CEO Arthur Arnold at the recent East African Regional SACCOs Association conference here where 250 leaders of savings and co-cooperatives (SACCO) convened to hear a progress report. Arnold said “growth in Africa is on the rise, more than 4 % in 2004. This is great, however, it’s not good enough. [In the next decade] China and India will grow by about 10%, as they did in the last 10 years” He challenged leaders saying “Africa can do better, starting here in Eastern Africa” through micro finance and savings products. To that end, Parliament here will soon pass legislation that will significantly improve the supervision of Kenyan SACCOs, with the aim of maintaining the standards outlined in WOCCU’s PEARLS monitoring system, Arnold said. WOCCU is also working on guidelines for Corporate, Collective and Individual Governance Best Practices, a project that will be finalized by the end of the year.

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