Another successful edition of the Conference on Cooperatives and the Solidarity Economy

22 Nov 2022
CCSE 2022

The 2nd Edition of the Conference on Cooperatives and the Solidarity Economy (CSSE 2022) took place from the 2nd - 4th November 2022. The conference was a hybrid event hosted at the School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg. The conference was a culmination of work that began in January 2022 when the first call for papers was issued. Submissions were from scholars in eight different countries namely, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Zimbabwe. The conference organiser, the Africa Cooperatives Institute of South Africa (ACI-SA) partnered with the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) and the Global Social Economy Forum to deliver the conference. The conference was further endorsed by Professor Isaac K. Nyamongo, ICA CCR African representative, the Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Uhuru Institute for Social Development.

Both conference partners have extensive experience in dealing cooperatives and in building structures for solidarity economy. The Gauteng Enterprise Propeller’s CEO Mr Saki Zamxaka, in his address at the conference pointed out that research was important in advancing the work of agencies involved in cooperative development. Mr Saki Zamxaka explained that GEP has a Cooperatives Assistance Programme designed intentionally to provide both financial and non-financial assistance for qualifying cooperatives in the Gauteng Province. During the conference Mr Nadas Pillay, the Leader of Cooperative Programmes at GEP also stated the need for academics to consult practitioners in the field of cooperatives as a way to enrich their research.

GEP over and above supporting the conference sessions and venue also provided support for cooperatives to exhibit their work and cooperative models at the conference. On the final day of the conference cooperative representatives had an opportunity to present their cooperative work models and get feedback from participants. The cooperative discussions will be followed by a project mapping workshop on the 26th November 2022. ACI-SA aims to keep future editions of the conference inclusive by ensuring that cooperatives are part of the research discussions.

GSEF supported the participation of ten authors who presented their papers online at the conference. These authors would have not been able to attend without the support given. In 2023, ACI-SA will join the 6th Edition of the Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF). At the forum taking place from 1-6 May 2023 in Dakar Senegal, ACI-SA, will lead a session under the thematic area: Co-constructing public policies for collective and sustainable economies conducive to decent jobs for young people and women.

The conference book of abstracts is available from the conference website The studies presented covered a wide range of topics including housing, agriculture, savings, rural development, entrepreneurship, inclusion, cooperative identity and community based case studies from South Africa, Mondragon, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Tanzania.

The conference programme was enriched by four keynote speakers and panellists. Amongst our keynote speakers are Ms Ruth Bhengu the Director of the Institute of Cooperatives and Community Economic Development and a renown South African parliamentarian who dedicated her life for the development of cooperatives. Other keynote speakers include Mr Leonard Okello, the CEO of Uhuru Institute for Social Development in Uganda, and the General Secretary Aude Saldana of the Global Social Economy Forum and Mr Saki Zamxaka the CEO of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller. The panellists were Ms Kwathi Koka, SEDA, Ms Sebonkile Thaba and Prof Tanusha Raniga, University of Johannesburg. The panel focused on Cooperatives post-COVID era and was moderated by Mr Katleho Ralehoko the Chairperson of the Africa Cooperatives Institute of SA and Associate Director for Stakeholder Engagements.

The 2023 conference will convene again in the Gauteng Province in November 2023. This 3rd edition of the Conference will seek to yield practical solutions dealing with group dynamics in cooperative settings and to come up with tools to manage group risks in member based solidarity enterprises. Dr Andrew Okem, the Conference Chair and the Conference Committee are deliberating continuously on possibilities for the 2023 conference. The details for the 2023 conference will be published on the 5th December 2022 on Contact Mr Sizwe Mkwanazi at if you wish to receive updates about the 2023 conference.

Sizwe Mkwanazi
The Africa Cooperatives Institute of South Africa