Oct 26, 2009, 3:11 PM
The Gambia Armed Forces Cooperative Credit Union (GAFCCU) on 9 July 2011 organised its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Joint Officers’ Mess in Kotu.
The occasion brought together about 200 members of the union to review its activities as well as elect a new executive that will steer the affairs of the union.
In his report, the chairperson the GAFCCU, lieutenant colonel Kawsu Sanyang, revealed that the landmark event was the first of its kind the union has had.
The GAFCCU was formed in May 2008 through an interim body that worked tirelessly in ensuring the beliefs and ideals of credit unions are well natured in the Gambia Armed Forces.
“Consultation and member education has been critical during these formative years,” said Lt Col Sanyang, adding that the board, with the help of the National Cooperative Credit Union of the Gambia (NACCUG), visited all army barracks on a sensitization tour through which a lot of doubts were cleared from the hearts and minds of the concerned officers.
“With initial membership of less than 200 in the first month of operations, the union has blossomed to over 4500 members,” the union chair told the gathering.
This is achieved because of the principles under which the credit union operates, he says while outlining the union’s successful achievements in the period under review.
“Member savings grew from D8, 829,134 in December 2009 to D23,020,380 in December 2010, which signifies a growth rate of nearly 300 percent,” he disclosed.
Lt Col Sanyang said the board had stuck to the provisions of the bye-laws to ensure that financial assistance is accorded to all deserving members of the credit union at the lowest possible cost.
He also commended the members, saying: “These achievements would not have been realised without commitment from the board and above all our esteemed members.
“Training and manpower development features prominently in the objectives of our esteemed laws and as a result of this the board [members] took it upon themselves to ensure that their volunteer staff get the level of training in their respective areas.”
The union chairman says two members of their support staff are undergoing professional training at the Management Development Institute on courses relevant to the advancement of the union.
“The board’s vision is to ensure that we are a highly trained workforce capable of handling the most sophisticated financial transaction that a modern day credit union can encounter,” he reaffirmed, whilst assuring the members that in the coming years “more training packages will be opened to staff with right qualifications” to pursue training relevant to the success of the union.
He however mentioned some challenges faced by the union. “An office complex to house a modern-day credit union with a membership base of over 4,500 is a single challenge to our esteemed union,” he said.
The union is totally an independent body at the GAF, he also said, adding that they are presently dreaming of drilling a borehole at the Fajara Barracks, for which they have already allocated D100,000, as well as D100,000 for their colleagues who have died and left kids behind.
He also urged other GAF members to join the union for the benefit of all and sundry.
Whilst Army Chief of Defence Staff Masaneh Kinteh delivered the vote of thanks, other speakers on the occasion included Saikou Danso, Registrar of Cooperative Unions, and Babucarr Jeng, General Manager of National Cooperative Credit Union –The Gambia.