18 000 Kenyan Co-operatives placed top in Africa
08 July 2015, 12:36
Nairobi – Kenya’s co-operative society movement has witnessed outstanding growth with over 18 000 registered cooperatives having 12 million memberships and placed the top in Africa.
Industrialization and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary, Adan Mohamed said positive growth of cooperative movement has changed livelihoods of about 50% Kenyans where an estimated 500 000 people either directly or indirectly earn from it.
“The Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) sub-sector continues to play a key role in the development of our economy through provision of financial access to many Kenyans. It has currently mobilized domestic savings to the tune of KES 501 billion and boasts an asset base of KES 694 billion,” said Mohamed.
He reiterated that the growth has benefited citizens in education, health, housing and business sectors among others, and pointed out that it was encouraging that Kenyans in Diaspora continue to register SACCOs to serve their economic and social interests in their countries of residence.
“These achievements and many others have placed Kenya above the rest in Africa and amongst the leaders globally. It is in this regard that Kenya has been chosen to host the Africa Confederation of Savings and Credit Associations in Africa (ACCOSCA) later in the year,” said Mohamed.
Although cooperative movement is considered to play key role in delivery of Vision 2013 through mobilization for investments, the Cabinet Secretary warned that savings alone is not enough without being invested to generate more wealth and income.
“There is need for the movement to be innovative and exploit opportunities coming through the expanding economy. Cooperatives should now consider venturing in manufacturing and in cases where capacity or technology is limited, options of Co-operative Private Partnerships (CPP) can be negotiated,” said Mohamed.
He said venturing in big manufacturing businesses would create more jobs among many unemployed youths and pave way for citizens to invest directly into the economy.
Mohamed assured that his ministry is promoting establishment of cooperative share trading platform at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) market for members to freely transfer their shares and get value for them when need arises which he said will also attract other investors.
“The ministry has also undertaken to promote the formation of youth-led co-operatives as an affirmative action towards youth empowerment where we have developed close partnership with other ministries and agencies dealing with youth affairs in order to link them with youth registered cooperatives to facilitate job creation to drive savings mobilization,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
He urged Co-operative leaders to embrace ICT mobile platform to encourage and motivate youths to participate in cooperative ventures as he assured of the government’s commitment in providing an enabling environment for the sector.
Moreover, he said his ministry is committed in revamping and privatization either collapsed or struggling co-operative societies including the Kenya Creameries Co-operative (KCC) among others to ensure farmers regain value for their investment.
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