ActionAid participated in the 3rd National Cooperatives Exhibition and Bazar organized by the Federal Cooperatives Agency, 12 to 16 February 2016. ActionAid was among the organizations who supported the event that gave cooperatives and unions from all parts of the country display thier products and initiate market links.
The visitors and exhibitors were basic cooperatives leaders, and citizens of the capital visiting as well as agents of community based organizations seeking technical and financial support.
At the ActionAid’s stall, explanations were always followed by reactions, most of the time emotional, at times strategic and sometimes inadvertent. some individuals tried to link with ActionAid seeking solution to their personal and immediate needs others sought strategic partnerships. A woman who listened to the explanation about ActionAid’s works on girls education asked if there is anything it does to help school dropouts back to school. The answer “Yes” made the mother pose the question “is there any way you can help my child, a school dropout, back to school”. A civil servant listened to the explanation about ActionAid supporting 265 cooperatives with a total capital of 168, 000,000 birr wondered if it supports any group organized to engage in some productive activities. “Can I initiate a group and get your support?” was his question. Most of the cooperatives leaders (members) asked how they can initiate relationships with ActionAid.
To basic saving and credit cooperatives, unions and other community organizations the exhibition was a very good opportunity to introduce their products to the wider market. Many were able to initiate market linkages with business people in the capital. The federal Cooperatives Agency was also keen in making some sign formal agreements with individuals and organizations who sought to buy their products in bulks.