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Interview
Apr 14, 2022

‘Empowering youth must for cooperative advancement’

Foreign Affairs News Correspondent
Ms. Ana Aguirre
Ms. Ana Aguirre

Ms. Ana Aguirre is one of the candidates for Presidency of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Youth Network Executive Committee.

Members of the ICA Youth Committee and its Youth Network are to vote for a presidential candidate electronically on April 16, 2022 Saturday.

The four candidates Ms. Ana Aguirre, Leslie Alvarado, Ms. Linah Sohelo and Mabruck Mpangule are on the floor for vying the post. But among them Ms. Aguirre had experience in empowering youth and cooperatives sector and currently has been serving as Vice President in the ICA Youth Committee for Europe. Ms. Aguirre is believed as a vibrant candidate for the ICA Youth Presidency.

She had accumulated on the ground knowledge from the globe by working in various countries including India, Brazil, South Korea, Kenya on wide angles of cooperatives sectors, including how youth live, learn and lead.

A hard worker cooperative campaigner Ms. Aguirre, co-founder of TAZEBAEZ S. Coop, is working to achieve the youth’s goal step by step.

The Foreign Affairs News online portal talked about her candidacy and her agendas. Following are the excerpts:

Do you have plan and policies for the grooming of youths in the cooperative sector?

Envisage the youth in their works in the cooperative education working with other committees as well making them able to physically meet the youth network. Regional committees should be engaged more as the representatives on this level would know the needs and ambitions from the grass level. Thus, working with empowerment and co-relation is a must.

What will you do for the youth, if you will win the elections?

Of course, I will work leading all youth based on a co-created, shared and transparent action plan. Represent and visualize the role and impact of youths in the ICA organization and work hard to improve the presence and strength of youth in the movement. Also, will involve in enlarging and reinforcing the network and support that will benefit all the representatives.  

Youths have a negative perception of the cooperative sector, especially in Asia, America and Europe. What are your ideas for eliminating negative thoughts from the youth?

I think the foremost need is to clarify, educate and be beneficial to the youth by drafting programs that show how the cooperative movement is aligned with the values of youth. Need to show the connectivity of cooperatives with other social plans including the 2030 Social Development Goals. Also need to be educated all the people from different sectors including school students about the beneficial of cooperatives to the youth and in society might definitely improve and strengthen the value of cooperative at large.

Finally, would you like to say something for the youth?

As we look at the next four years, we look at working as an official Youth Committee for the first time. I want the cooperative youth to come forward, to lead within the cooperative movement. We will make a youth that results in the visibilization and positive impact for the cooperative movement and the youth sector.

Also, I would like to say that as I have learned in the past years, the network is diverse and strong, but we will generate strategies to incorporate more youth from all regions and to reactivate many.

Although I’ve some lines of work, I would listen, correlate and incorporate all the regions needs in the next action plan. The lines I have on the plan are very connected to follow and build on the previous four years. I would reinforce the visibilization of the youth’s role to be played and the different kinds of cooperative youth (working in co-ops, creating co-ops and potential new cooperators). I want to have youth represent more than youth and lead fields in the ICA such as Tech development. And of course, invest and lead cooperative education.

I would reinforce the strategies that youth have to play their roles in promotion of cooperatives.