Chai SACCO, a leading Deposit-Taking (DT) Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO), marks fifty (50) years since it started its operations of empowering its members economically, and socially, and promoting financial inclusion.
Over the past fifty (50) years, Chai SACCO has played an integral role in enriching the lives of Kenyans and in the transformation of the SACCO subsector through financial inclusion, wealth creation and employment in the country.
Some of the most recent milestones the SACCO has achieved are the investment and introduction of innovative financial products and services including credit, savings, loans and insurance solutions that have resulted in the growth of its membership base and improved financial performance of SACCO for the period ending 2022.
While gracing the celebrations, Cabinet Secretary State Department for Cooperatives Principal Secretary Patrick Kiburi Kilemi said, “I am delighted to be part of this important occasion when you are celebrating your Golden Jubilee as well as the awarding of Quality Management System (QMS)- ISO 9001-2005 certification. The Ministry will continue to strengthen commodity co-operatives to carry out value addition with their view to increase their competitiveness and returns to members.”
Speaking during the half-century celebrations and commenting on the financial performance of the SACCO, Chai SACCO Chairman Boniface Ayub said, “As we mark the 50th anniversary, the SACCO has achieved remarkable success in its financial operations. We have recorded a growth of 8.7 per cent in 2022 compared to 7.5% in 2021, with the total assets growing from Ksh. 4.3 billion to close at Ksh. 4.7 billion. Our revenue increased by 14.2 per cent from Kshs 634million to Ksh.725million. These are good projections and a golden ticket to chat the path forward. We continue to implement our strategic plan which is anchored on technology and new innovations. I’m proud to mention that we have been able to achieve all our ratios, particularly, the institutional capital ratio which was below the threshold of 8%.”
Mr Ayub disclosed that the Chai SACCO has a strong membership base with the Society recording an active membership growth of 27.9 per cent from 25,945 members in 2021, closing at 33,184 members in 2022. He noted that the results are attributed to a new recruitment drive, activation of dormant accounts and review of membership policy to include transactions such as deposits, shares and saving; and loan repayment in determining dominant membership. He disclosed that the execution of these initiatives led to the reduction of the dormant members from 9,131 to 707.
And added: “Chai SACCO members’ share capital grew by 6.1% from Ksh.536million to Ksh.569million. Members’ deposits also increased from Ksh. 3.0 billion in 2021 to Kshs 3.3 billion in 2022. This shows the resilience of our SACCO and its members amid the global macro environmental challenges and most industries and sectors struggling to sustain their businesses due to the economic shocks and recovery from the global pandemic,’’ said Mr Ayub.
During the reporting period, Chai SACCO has focused on investing and enhancing its operational efficiency by implementing robust ICT systems, introducing member self-service products like e-loan, short-term electronic loans and online products and services. The SACCO has successfully implemented a Quality Management System (QMS) process that led to achieving the ISO 9001:2015 QMS certificate.
Commenting on Chai SACCO’s future outlook, Mr Ayub said that the SACCO played a significant role in the development of the SACCO subsector in Kenya. He noted that the SACCO’s commitment to good governance, transparency, and accountability has set the standards for other SACCOs to follow. He added that the SACCO’s financial strength and stability have inspired confidence in members and the wider public, and have contributed to the growth and development of the cooperative movement in the country.
The SACCO subsector is a significant contributor to Kenya’s economy with an approximation of 5.7 per cent of the total assets to GDP ratio. There has been upward growth within the sector which cannot be found ignored. The SACCO movement in Kenya has been instrumental in transforming the country’s financial sector by providing financial services to millions of Kenyans who would otherwise not have access to them. SACCOs are member-owned financial cooperatives that provide savings and credit facilities to their members at affordable interest rates. Over the years, SACCOs have grown in popularity and membership, with over 5,000 registered SACCOs in Kenya today, serving over 14 million members.
Speaking at the same function, Chai SACCO CEO Festus Mwatee expressed his gratitude to the members for their unwavering support over the years. “We are proud of what we have achieved over the past 50 years, and we look forward to continuing our journey of transforming the lives of our members and the communities we serve,”
As the Chai SACCO celebrates its 50th anniversary, it reaffirms its commitment to continue offering quality financial services to its members while supporting the development of the tea-growing regions and the country at large. As part of the celebrations, the SACCO also held its 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The Kenyan government has recognised the important role that SACCOs play in the country’s economy and has over time introduced policies to support their growth. The government has provided financial support and incentives to SACCOs, including tax breaks and grants, to encourage them to expand their operations and reach more members.
One of the most significant contributions of SACCOs to the Kenyan economy has been their role in promoting financial inclusion. SACCOs have enabled millions of Kenyans to access financial services, which has in turn helped to reduce poverty and increase economic growth. By providing affordable credit to small businesses and farmers, SACCOs have also helped to stimulate local economies and create employment opportunities.
Chai SACCO continues to grow its stature in the SACCO subsector and financial industry, demonstrated by its unrivalled commitment to transforming the Tea, Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs), Agri-business sectors, and Youth and Women empowerment initiatives.