ILO supports the revision of the half-century old cooperative bill in Ghana

The ILO is supporting the revision of the cooperative bill established in 1968 in Ghana.

News | 10 May 2018
The now 50 year old Co-operative Societies Decree of 1968, National Liberation Council Decree (NLCD) 252 remains the only legislation regulating cooperatives in Ghana.

Participants of the workshop
Not having seen any amendments ever since its inception, the legislation has a number of elements that are out of synch with the current realities of the markets and the social environment. In particular, it gives extensive powers to the Cooperative Registrar including for registration, settlement of disputes, audit inspection and enquiries and dissolution of registered cooperatives. These extensive powers have impeded the autonomy, independence and overall development of cooperatives. In light of this situation, the Department of Co-operatives (DoC) under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has made several attempts to revise the law in the past, although these have not been adopted.

In 2017, the DoC under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations initiated another revision effort in consultation with various national and international stakeholders. The ICA Committee on Cooperative Law and the ILO, through its Country Office in Abuja covering Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone and its Cooperatives Unit, have provided technical inputs on the draft cooperatives bill.

On 26-28 April 2018, the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations organized a consultation workshop to review the draft bill in Aburi, Ghana. In addition to Akua Asumadu from ILO-Abuja, brought together representatives from Ghana Co-operative Council (GCC), the national apex organization of cooperatives, Ghana Co-operative College, Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Department, Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), and Ghana Employers' Association (GEA). Intensive discussions took place including on the institutionalization of a National Cooperative Authority, the legalization of the status of the Co-operative College, and incentives and penalties for the enforcement of the law.

The drafting committee suggested that there should be more representation of “co-operators” on the board. A revised draft bill will be circulated to all stakeholders to ensure the integration of their comments and suggestions.

In December 2017, the ILO organized a training workshop with financial cooperatives in Ghana