This year the Cooperative Movement in The Bahamas will be celebrating a milestone-Forty (40) years of empowering Bahamians, under the theme, “Accelerating Wealth Creation through Cooperatives”.

The Cooperatives Societies Act was legislated by the Government of The Bahamas in 1974. Initially Producer/Service Cooperatives were what Bahamians gravitated towards, especially on the Family Islands, with the first cooperative, National Women’s Cooperative, being registered on January 10, 1975. In later years the Financial Cooperatives (Credit Unions) spread throughout The Bahamas, with National Workers Co-op Credit Union Ltd, the first financial co-op, being registered, Nov. 17, 1976, thus The Movement experienced an unprecedented fifty Per Cent (50%) growth in the 1990’s. The current membership of cooperatives in The Bahamas is approximately 40,000 members. The name Cooperatives conjures up positive thoughts for thousands of Bahamians as it is synonymous with assisting, educating and empowering Bahamians to realize their goals and aspirations for a long time. This is especially so with respect to credit unions which have provided the opportunity for many families to pay for education, buy homes and generally raise their standard of living.

The Department of Cooperatives is presently in the process of shifting its focus towards strengthening the Producer/Service Cooperatives as a means to empowering Bahamians to create wealth. The 40th anniversary gives The Bahamian public a chance to reflect on the many achievements of the Movement and its contribution to The Bahamas as a whole. The theme for the 40th Anniversary is very appropriate as Financial Cooperatives have been an integral part of the Bahamian economic fabric from the inception of The Movement. It is also an ideal time to chart and conceive the next chapter in the development of the cooperative sector. The dynamic planning committee comprised of staff members from the Department, the Cooperative, the Bahamas Co-operative League and various Credit Unions organized a Church Service which was held at Salem Union Baptist Church, March 02nd, 2014. This event had attendees from all of the Credit Unions, The League other Cooperative Societies and other relevant stakeholders. Additionally a Youth Conclave which was held, February 27th and 28th, 2014 drew almost 100 students from public and private schools from New Providence and a number of the Family Islands. Also on February 27th, the first of three (3) Distinguished Lecture series was held. The lecture attracted seventy-five persons from the various sectors of Nassau; it was also deemed a great success by those in attendance These events are intended to heighten public awareness about Cooperatives with a view to increasing membership by highlighting the uniqueness of Cooperatives as a viable successful vehicle for development. This “Cooperatives Meet the Press” event provides us with a great opportunity to partner with the press in sharing information about the Cooperative Movement and hopefully increasing public awareness about the important role that the Cooperative business model can play in The Bahamas.

The calendar of planned events is below:

40th Anniversary Calendar







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