In 2020, we registered Okere Shea Cooperative Society, a significant feat in our attempt to position Shea nuts as a key economic development resource in Okere. This registration would not be possible had it not been for the incredible support offered by Mr. Charles Opio, who is the District Commercial Officer of Otuke District.
When our Chairman paid a courtesy visit to his Office to introduce to him the idea of registration a cooperative society to promote value addition to Shea nuts in Otuke, Charles was warm as well as receptive. While he was excited he was also quick to note that he is sick and tired of supporting cooperatives to register on paper yet they continuously fail to operate and succeed beyond the first year. “I have supported many Cooperatives to start-up their work but there is almost no cooperative society to be proud of in Otuke” he lamented. I hope Okere Shea Cooperative will something I can be proud of in future” he said.
The procedures for registration a cooperative society is one hell of a tedious exercise. But Charles braved both the scotching heat and the torrential downpours to make sure that we ticked all the necessary boxes to enable us register. As is mandated by the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives, the District Commercial Officer is expected to conduct a series of training to orient and equip the prospective cooperative members with the concept and key principles of a cooperative business. Charles did all he could to ensure that the people of Okere understood these core values. “You can become a good cooperator if you do not understand cooperative values such as honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others” he told us.
One day, it rained cats and dogs in Okere. The rain could not stop and yet Charles had to ride for 15KMs to return to Otuke Town from Okere village. He told our Chairman, “Mr. Ojok, I have to go. I can afford to ride on a slippery road in the night and yet the headlamp of my motorbike is faulty”. Charles braved the torrential downpour all because he wants us to be successful.
We would like to make a solemn promise to Charles that his sacrifices will never be in vain. For, we shall work tooth and nail to make sure that Okere Shea Cooperative Society emerges as one of the best Shea Cooperative Societies in the world.