Touching Africa gladly reports about the progress of the concept of the Touching Africa Co-operative Bank, regarding its strategic development and preparation for registration. This process involves defining the origin of the bank and how it embodies an existing “group of people” and “association” as legally required.
The TACB originates from a natural selection and “grouping” of a vision focused, like-minded group of people partaking on a voluntary basis in the activities of the Touching Africa Initiative over the last 15 years. Within this “group of people”, a need was identified for specific financial services and related products to help one another, and contribute to the shared dream and vision to “touch” the community of Africa on a sustainable basis.
Within the Touching Africa Association, a “common bond of trust” has therefore developed over years with a mutual desire to give expression to the Kingdom of God on a practical basis. This common bond of trust now acts as basis to the establishment of the TACB as part of the functionality and intentionality of the Touching Africa Community. (It is important to note that this “association” as basis to the “common bond” is one of the three types of common bonds identified and acknowledged in the regulations related to the formalizing of a tertiary co-operative bank in South Africa, the others being work-based and geographic.)
According to the Co-operative Banks Act, No 40 of 2007 (the Act), this “association” may include a business, religious, social, co-operative, labour or educational group. It is a globally acknowledged fact in the banking sector that the requirement of belonging to a strong common bond is seen as a corner stone in the success of financial cooperatives, as the social responsibility that is created by the knowledge that members are in a network and even know each other, lessens the risk of default.
It can therefore be argued, and it is evident, that the Touching Africa Association can be seen as the “group of people” that have a “common bond of trust” within the Touching Africa framework. This forms a key building block of the TACB and renders a legally well accepted basis for the application of the co-operative bank registration process.