Uganda: Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union

Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Microfinance (BJ) is a successful member-managed cooperative with a well-established savings and credit programme, and profitable coffee marketing. Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union started in 1999 with 98% women who were from 11 Savings and Credit self help groups each group were between 15 to 30 members.

Bukonzo Joint was one of the original organisations using Participatory Action Learning System since 2003 for its planning and member training. In 2007 it was one of the partners developing GALS as part of Oxfam Novib’s WEMAN programme. Then as resource organisation for the IFAD/Oxfam Novib GENVAD value chain project it helped further develop GALS for use in the coffee and maize value chains. By July 2012 BJ had 3237 members of whom 2399 were women and 838 men and all of whom were using GALS in some form.

For achievements of Bukonzo Joint on gender and quality by 2012 through use of PALS see:

Balanced Trees Grow Richer Beans: Promoting Gender Justice through Value Chain Development in Western Uganda

BJ has organisational regulations on gender balance in senior as well as other positions on the staff and the member-board, and also gives preferential conditions to women members in share dividends and savings and credit. Gender awareness is a key consideration in staff recruitment and under constant review by the member board, but there is no written gender policy or gender focal staff.

<h3>GALS Highlights from Uganda Coffee Farmers: Women’s Diamond for Changes in Decision-Making</h3>
This video was part of a value chain intiative of Oxfam Novib and IFAD with partner Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union, Western Uganda. Bukonzo Joint is also a resource organisation for Hivos initiatives in the coffee sector.

Use of GALS methodology has been a key factor in enabling Bukonzo Joint members to efficiently implement other trainings like Good Agricultural Practices, and increasing quality and quantity coffee to become the successful coffee cooperative it is today. In 2015 it won the SCAA Sustainability Award for gender mainstreaming in the coffee sector

2015 SCAA Sustainability Award

For further details on Bukonzo Joint’s work on women’s empowerment and gender justice see its website:

https://bukonzojointcoffee.com/what-we-do/womens-empowerment-and-gender-justice/