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EAFF - Validation Workshop analysis of the Cooperative Acts of Eastern Africa and Experiences from the European Cooperative Movement, Nairobi

Eastern African Farmers’ Co-operative carried out a study on the co-operative acts in use in the region with a view to understanding how well placed co-operatives are as a tool of regional development. The Acts studied were those of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.

 Key findings of the study were:

  •  Heavy government involvement in co-operative formation and management
  • Poor co-operative development has seen co-operators unable to participate in national development
  • Co-operatives suffer image problems because of the abuse they have undergone over the years. These and other factor such as urbanization has led to reduced interest in co-operatives by youth and women who do not own land
  • The Ethiopian Act is a good benchmark that the region can use as it was developed bottom-up by co-operators who then sought it to be passed by the government. It includes youth, and is also translated in the commonly used language
  • The rigidity of the co-operative movement structure creates ambiguity in membership and overlapping functions of the members. Accountability and transparency are key challenges as opposed to the case with limited liability companies
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming key ingredients in enhancing the role of the co-operative societies as seen in the case of Ethiopia’s Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union.

The objective of the workshop was to receive and review the report on the study of the co-operative Acts in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. Following the reporting session, the participants discussed and provided policy recommendations to improve the regulatory framework for the co-operatives in the three countries studied as well as in the Eastern African region.

 

The workshop’s output will be used by EAFF in making proposals on a regional co-operative policy.

from 10/03/2010 to 11/03/2010
Thematic Areas: Markets and Value chains, Other
Region: East Africa