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Working Papers

    • WP 1 - Reinventing the wheel? African cooperatives in a liberalized economic environment ( pdf 1.44Mb),
      Fredrick O. Wanyama, Patrick Develtere and Ignace Pollet, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.1, (2009)
      Cooperative development in Africa can be said to have traversed two main eras: the era of state control and that of liberalization. The first era lasted up to the early 1990s and saw the origin and substantial growth of cooperatives on the continent. During that period, different models of cooperative development were introduced on the continent. We distinguish a unified cooperative model, a social economy model, a social movement model, a producers' model and an indigenous model. But in all cases, cooperatives were engulfed into state politics. However, little is known about the impact of liberalization measures on these models. Our research in 11 African countries reveals that cooperatives in Africa have survived the market forces and continued to grow in number and membership. We see a slow but sure erosion of the unified model and the adoption of a social economy model. Cooperatives in Africa are re-examining their organizational forms and diversifying their activities in response to members' interests and needs.
    • WP 2 – Enterprise future lies in cooperation – Entrepreneur Cooperatives in Africa (pdf 1.28Mb),
      Nicole Goler von Ravensburg, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.2, (2009)
      Entrepreneur Cooperatives are a form of organization that can help private sector businesses, professionals or public bodies to improve their effectiveness through enhancing access to goods and services that otherwise would not have been available. This working paper seeks to analyse the features and benefits of Entrepreneur Cooperatives and how they might be used in Africa. It indicates those features that would allow for replication of the model in Sub-Saharan Africa and provides a number of strategic recommendations on the promotion of Entrepreneur Cooperatives in Africa.

    • WP 3 – African cooperatives and the financial crisis (pdf 1.04Mb),
      Emma Allen and Sam Maghimbi, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.3, (2009)
      The volatility occurring in global financial markets noted from mid 2007 onwards has brought with it serious and long term consequences for the real economy, including escalating foreclosure or downsizing of enterprise leading to increases in unemployment and volatility in commodity markets that entails loss of income and decreasing in household budgets. This paper considers how cooperatives in Sub-Sahara Africa are being affected by the financial crisis. The paper provides an analysis of the triggers of the crisis and considers how sectors of the economy, particularly those concerned with export markets and the financial sector have been affected by the crisis. The article draws focus on cooperative financial institutions and agricultural cooperatives, particularly those concerned with export markets.

    • WP 5 – Social economy approaches to mainstreaming HIV/AIDS – the case of the Kasojetua Youth Group (pdf 1.25Mb),
      SIAPAC Ltd, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.5, (2009)

      Members of a Namibian based youth group called ‘the Okondjatu Kasojetua Youth Group came to the realization that there were many unmet needs within their communities, especially regarding HIV, which they could respond to if they organized themselves and worked in a collaborative manner with existing regional constituents and community structures. This case study explores the activities of the Okondjatu Kasojetua Youth Group and how these activities respond to community need for HIV support and educational services. Programmes include a musical band, a choir, a home-base care programme as well as a programme to support orphans and vulnerable children in their education. The study finds that the actions of the youth group are particularly innovative as they mainstream the issue of HIV across all their core activities. This provides the community with many different opportunities for learning about HIV/AIDS, while also providing access to HIV related services that are friendly and accessible to all members of society.

    • WP 6 – Fair Trade - Fair Futures: The Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union scholarship programme for Orphan and Vulnerable Children made vulnerable by AIDS (pdf 809Kb),
      Faustine K. Bee, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No. 6 with ILO/AIDS, (2009)
      The HIV/AIDS epidemic remains a major development challenge for most developing nations, including Tanzania. The epidemic has seen the number of children who are orphans and/or vulnerable increase. In response to this trend many community based initiatives have emerged to address this challenge. This study reports on one of these initiatives - The Kilimanjaro Native Co-operative Union scholarship programme for Orphan and Vulnerable Children, which is financed through revenues generated from the sale of coffee through Fair Trade. The study finds that the initiative is contributing to the process of human capital development, which is very much needed to increase agricultural productivity in the long term and concludes by identifying some measures that could be taken for strengthening the impact of the initiative.

    • WP 7 - Cooperatives in Africa: The age of reconstruction – synthesis of a survey in nine African countries (pdf 1.54Mb),
      Ignace Pollet, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.7, (2009).

      This paper aggregates the findings from nine country studies and from recent literature upon African cooperatives. The presence of cooperatives and people covered by them was found to be significant, though erratically documented. The current growth of the movement is largely driven by expansion of Savings and Credit Cooperatives. However, building and maintaining a movement’s structure presents a challenge. Federations often struggle with legitimacy and operate at a mere subsistence level. Cooperative colleges do not sufficiently cater for members and staff of primary cooperatives. The extent to which governments pursue a policy of actively creating an enabling environment for cooperatives proves to be the key factor in reconstructing the cooperative movements. The paper further discusses the significance of cooperatives for other policy domains and the position of cooperatives as a vehicle for development.

    • WP 8 – Cooperatives and development: a case of citizen economic empowerment in Botswana (pdf file 161kb) ,
      Thabo Lucas Seleke and Mogopodi Lekorwe, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.7, (2009)
      In Botswana cooperatives were established by the government immediately after independence and operated to facilitate the interests of government. The movement experienced phenomenal growth in the first two decades of operation and made substantial contributions to rural development. However, reforms undertaken to mobilize liberalization signaled a new era in cooperative development, leading to stagnant growth, donor flight, decline in membership, poor sales and poor management. Emerging multi-purpose cooperatives encountered stiff competition from large chain stores and marketing livestock cooperatives suffered huge setbacks associated with Foot and Mouth Disease. As a result the cooperative movement in Botswana witnessed tremendous decline and is now in a near state of collapse. The paper highlights the relatively recent emergence savings and credit cooperatives as the only hope for rejuvenating the Botswana cooperative movement.

    • WP 9 – Cooperatives: a path to economic and social empowerment in Ethiopia (pdf file 1.74Mb) ,
      Bezabih Emana, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.9, (2009)
      Cooperative associations have existed in Ethiopian society for centuries. However, the history of formal cooperatives in Ethiopia dates back to 1960, when the _rst cooperatives’ directive was enacted. Since this time cooperative policy and law has undertaken many reforms and cooperatives have come to play a crucial role in economic and social development. For instance, the cooperative sector created approximately 82,074 jobs and provided over half a billion Ethiopian Birr in income from this employment in 2007. The participation of cooperatives in agro-processing, marketing and _nance (saving, credit and banking) is increasing. The social role of cooperatives is ensured through voicing of common goals via cooperative unions, enhanced participation in value chains and protection of producers from unfair pricing. However, the functioning and development of cooperatives and their support institutions is constrained by frequent reform, shortage of skilled human resources and limited awareness of cooperative approaches to development.

    • WP 10 – Surviving liberalization: the cooperative movement in Kenya (pdf file, 1.44Mb),
      Frederick O. Wanyama, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.10, (2009)
      It is over a decade since the liberalization of the cooperative movement in Kenya, which sought to create commercially autonomous member-based cooperatives that would be democratically and professionally managed; self-controlled; and self-reliant business ventures. However, since then very little is documented and communicated about the unfolding status of the movement. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the current trends, structural organization and performance of cooperatives in Kenya. A quick appraisal of the situation reveals that cooperatives have largely survived the market forces and continued to grow in number, membership and income. The market forces have triggered a structural transformation that has seen the fading away of the inefficient cooperatives, including the National Federation and some cooperative unions, as primary cooperatives seek better service provision. Similarly, cooperatives are increasingly diversifying their activities and introducing innovative ventures in order to respond to their members’ needs. The well-adapted cooperatives are subsequently recording better performance than they did in the previous era.

    • WP 11 – Positive living with HIV in the Swazi social economy 2011(pdf file, 923kb),
      K. J. B. Keregero and Emma Allen, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.11, (2009)
      Swaziland has been severely aected by HIV, with estimations indicating a prevalence rate of 25.9 per cent. The development challenges that accompany such an epidemic are substantial, requiring multifaceted and innovative responses from government and communities in order to prevent transmission, improve access to treatment and care, and mitigate social and economic impacts. One such response is the Swaziland Positive Living (SWAPOL) initiative, which was formed in 2001 as a coping strategy for ve HIV positive women who were encountering stigma and discrimination from their families and community members. For the SWAPOL members, the common goal of living positively has served as a strong cohesive force for the survival of the initiative.

    • WP 12 – The hope for rural transformation : A rejuvenating cooperative movement in Rwanda (pdf file, 1.6Mb),
      Espérance Mukarugwiza, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.12, (2009)
      The cooperative movement in Rwanda is in its infancy stage and was revived with the creation of the Task Force on Cooperative Promotion in 2005. The new policy in Rwanda on cooperative promotion emphasizes the economic role of cooperatives and focuses on the jobs they create for a large number of Rwandans as well as their benefits for social development. Structures to support cooperative development are growing stronger, with a number of local and international development partners supporting cooperatives directly or indirectly. This paper highlights the pace at which cooperatives in Rwanda have evolved and the efforts of the Government of Rwanda to create an enabling environment to develop cooperatives.

    • WP 13 – Economic empowerment of Swazi society through cooperative development(pdf file, 2.3Mb),
      Charles Hlatshwako, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.13, (2009)
      There has been a growing negative perception of the cooperative sector in Swaziland in recent years and the Swaziland Government has found it necessary to address emerging problems. As a way forward the government has transferred the Cooperative Department from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade. The Cooperative Department has been tasked with determining the validity of the emerging notion that cooperatives are a failure and that cooperative practitioners are de_cient. The collapse of the Central Cooperative Union (CCU) of Swaziland, the incomplete project of the Swaziland Association of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SASCCO), the failure of Asikhutulisane’s Sentra Supermarket, are among cases of poor performance that may have contributed to the negative and unpopular publicity of the cooperative movement in Swaziland. The paper _nds that the performance of the cooperative movement remains below expectation, but that there is considerable potential for improving its status in order achieves economic empowerment through cooperative development.

    • WP 14 – Cooperatives in Tanzania mainland: Revival and growth(pdf file, 2.5Mb),
      Sam Maghimbi, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.14, (2009)
      In Tanzania nearly eight million people are dependent on the services and employment opportunities associated with the cooperative movement. The movement shows strong and persistent organizational stability. The Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives continually undertakes assessments and makes contributions to cooperative policy and legislation. Their capacity to lobby on behalf of cooperative members has made it possible for them to reach other cooperative movements, especially in Europe, and there is now some networking between local cooperatives and foreign cooperative organizations. However, marketing services of the Tanzanian Federation of Cooperatives are limited and complaints of lack of access to markets and low prices for cooperative members’ crops are very common. Crop marketing cooperatives are heavily indebted to banks, which highlights the need for growth in the number of cooperative banks. Savings and credit cooperatives have been more successful in increasing social protection for members, by providing loans for emergencies, social fees and funerals, among others.

    • WP 15 – Cooperatives: The sleeping economic and social giants in Uganda(pdf file, 2.7Mb),
      Lawrence M. Kyazze, CoopAFRICAWorking Paper No.15, (2009)
      The paper provides a historical synopsis of cooperatives in Uganda and outlines the current state of cooperative development. This status includes a synthesis of the performance of the cooperative movement, discussion of the support needed from the cooperative structures and outlines the justi_cation for this investment in Ugandan society through highlighting the contribution they can make to social protection and economic empowerment. In the early days, cooperatives assisted the marginalized and less privileged people to improve their standards of living and contributed to the social and economic development of the country. While liberalization and decentralization saw cooperatives decline, the movement is now regaining its past glory and reclaiming its role as an instrument for empowerment. The paper concludes by stressing that cooperatives need to develop their enterprises by starting from within and attending to the ever changing needs of their members

    • WP 16 – Bearing the brunt of liberalized economy: A performance review of the cooperative movement in Zambia (pdf 1.44Mb),
      CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.10, (2009)
      Currently the contribution of the Zambian cooperative movement to the country’s socio-economic development does not appear to be significant. The cooperative movement is generally weak in its income base and organizational structures. Many cooperatives are either defunct or non-performing. It has been observed that some cooperatives have been formed for the sole purpose of taking advantage of government support programmes. The “collapsing” of the cooperative movement in Zambia can be attributed to lack for planning for policy transition on behalf of the government as well as a manifestation of fragile cooperative institutions, whose internal organization was not robust enough to withstand the liberalization reforms. The continuing inertia exhibited by most cooperatives constitutes a serious threat to the development of an autonomous cooperative movement. Of paramount importance is the need for the cooperatives themselves to appreciate the meaning and objectives of the cooperative model of enterprise.

    • WP 17 – Cooperatives in Zanzibar: Decline and renaissance (pdf 2.54Mb),
      Sam Maghimbi, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.17, (2009)
      The cooperative movement in Zanzibar is extensive. However, cooperative development stagnated after the Cooperative Union of Tanzania underwent reforms in 1991, which saw the Isles’ movement break away from the mainland federation to create its own structure. Currently, the organization and support structures of the cooperative movement are quite weak. Virtually no primary cooperatives provide financial contributions to the cooperative unions, and the cooperative unions in turn are not able to make annual financial contributions to the federation. Further, the cooperative movement in Zanzibar has no support institution for training and there is little donor support. Cooperative enterprises that were previously strong have withered, but there are a few primary cooperatives that have managed to survive and even flourish within this austere situation. Recent policy and legislative measures taken seek to breathe life back into the cooperative movement and provides some optimism for its revival.

    • WP 18 – Cooperative policy and law in east and southern Africa: A review (pdf 2.53Mb),
      Jan Theron, CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.18, (2009)
      This paper presents a comparative analysis of the policies regarding cooperative
      development and cooperative legislation for the countries of East and Southern Africa. It argues that there is a complex interaction between policy and law within national boundaries, and also between countries within the region. The benefit of a comparative analysis is to develop a regional perspective regarding the policy and legislative framework, in order to identify common problems with this framework and to stimulate debate as to how countries in the region can collaborate in strengthening the position of cooperatives.

    • WP 19 – The cooperative model for the delivery of home based care services for people living with HIV(pdf 782kb),
      Sandrine Lo Iacono and Emma Allen CoopAFRICA Working Paper No.18 Cooperatives, like other organizations, are aected by HIV and AIDS through loss of their members, their workforce and their leaders, which indirectly aects members’ revenue and the cooperatives’ capacity to address members’ needs. However, cooperatives can also be thought of as part of the solution. Indeed, many communities in Africa have organized themselves and set up self-help initiatives to address their own health needs, including those related to HIV. This working paper looks at home-based care (HBC) and considers whether the cooperative model could potential add-value to this modality of health care provision.

Last update: 11.10.2011^ top