5th Annual OECS Credit Union Summit in St. Kitts.

Last Updated: Sunday, 30 September 2012 Published: Thursday, 01 November 2007 Written by Marisa Sabaroche (President, CHS Credit Unionette)

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As the president of the Convent High School Credit Unionette, I was honoured to attend the 5th annual OECS Credit Union Summit in St. Kitts, along with 21 other persons from the Credit Union movement in Dominica.  The summit was hosted by the St. Kitts and Nevis Cooperative Societies League, under the theme “Re-engineering the OECS Credit Union System for Sustainable Development.  The Summit was held at the St. Kitts Royal Marriot Resort.

On Thursday, the 11th of October, members from the various credit unions in the OECS arrived at the Marriot hotel.  Registration was from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Checking in was done also.   During registration, the schedule for the opening ceremony and the entire conference was handed out.

On Friday, the 12th of October, the opening ceremony was held.  All participants were obligated to wear formal and/or business-like clothing.  The ceremony was held at the Marriot Conference room.  It was scheduled to begin at 9:00; everyone was supposed to be sitted by 8:55 in order to facilitate the arrival of the Governor General. At the opening, there were various speakers, welcoming the representatives and opening the summit.  Namely the Caribbean representative on the World Council of Credit Unions,  Representative from the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of health and the Deputy Premier for Nevis.  Also, the presidents of the various cooperative leagues gave a short introduction.

The first general session was on the, “Credit Union and financial Sector Growth in the OECS Economic Union.”  This was presented by H.E Wendell Lawrence, Ambassador to the CARICOM, OECS and ACS, Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.  He did a power point presentation.  His presentation was centred under these main topics:

  1. The OECS Economic Union
  2. The Rationale for the OECS
  3. Implications for the Financial Sector
  4. Key Principles
  5. Benefits of Cooperation across the Economic Space

This was followed by a plenary session, conducted by the Credit Union Management Consultant; Mr. Ralph Wharton from Barbados.  He, too, had a power point presentation.  He addressed the topic under the headings:

  1. Sustainable development agenda
  2. Accountability and Transparency
  3. Standards of Ethical Conduct
  4. Community investment
  5. Environmental impact

Both these sessions highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the OECS credit unions.  Also the challenges they are facing and are going to be facing.

After lunch there were educational break-out sessions on the various topics
  1. Investment Management
  2. Insurance services
  3. SME/ Agri-business Lending
  4. Mortgage Lending

After these sessions there were presentations from:

  1. Adrien/Trimo- Incorporated
  2. St.Georges University
  3. Report from the OECS Credit union Secretariat

Later that night, everyone was taken to the Oasis night club to socialize.

On Saturday, the Conference started with a Presentation by Hon. Roselyn Cassell-Sealy, Executive director, ST Patrick Cooperative Credit Union, Montserrat.  She spoke on “Espousing the Principles of the Cooperative Movement.”

Following that was a presentation by various countries about their junior cooperatives.

Next, was a panel discussion, conducted by Mr. Collin Wellington and Mr. Glenworth Francis.

A report by the ECCCL was given.  They gave the new budget for the up coming year.  This discussion caused a stir in the crowd, as some of the decisions which were taken were not in the best interest of the various cooperatives.

The day ended with that report.

Tours were given to various representatives.  The Dominica team went on a tour to Nevis. Then later there was a dinner and the Closing ceremony.

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