spirit and pride (Reynolds 1998) . governments expect cooperatives to inform policy making and engage in advocacy while role in the cooperatives themselves seek a more pronounced, active and permanent decision-making (Mercoiret 1999) . The shared spirit of cooperation and empowerment leads to engagement in larger projects for the economic gain of the society 7
national strategies developed by government backed governance and institutional reforms implemented since have been in 2003 . The number of registered co-operative societies Kenya has grown steadily, increasing from 9,443 in 2000 , to 11,968 at the end of 2008 (Wanyama, 2009). These Co-operatives are essentially business organizations, observing and and universally accepted principles values which underscore both the social economic dimensions of their nature (Akide, 2005). 2J Potential of Cooperative Societies in Kenya 2003- Kenya’s successive development plans; the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS, Strategy Paper (2001), 2007) , National Poverty Reduction Plan, the Poverty Reduction Strategy for Revitalization of Agriculture (SRA) and now the Kenya Vision 2030 ; all co-operative the recognize movement as an important player in national development, and wealth with particular focus on mobilization of savings, investment of resources, enhance the employment creation (MOCDM strategic plan 2008-2012) . Co-operatives important optimal performance of key sectors by providing an framework for This has therefore shown the need to mobilization of both human and financial capital. vibrant strengthen reform and the co-operative sector and transform co-operatives into social and business institutions (MOCDM strategic plan 2008-2012). Co-operatives have made great contributions towards economic growth and employment creation in Kenya. They have enormous capacity to undertake cost effective procurement, (MOCDM distribution and acquisition of new technologies, products and services strategic plan 2008-2012). To date, there are over 11,200 registered cooperative societies strategic have country-wide (MOCDM cooperatives plan 2008-2012) . The employed Indeed, a over 300,000people besides providing opportunities for self-employment. significant number of Kenyans, approximately 63% draw their livelihood either directly or indirectly from cooperative-based enterprises (Republic of Kenya 2007; International Monetary Fund 2007; The Kenya High Commission in the United Kingdom 2007). Through mobilization of savings and provision of loans, cooperatives have brought their members into the mainstream national economic grid. Besides, they are playing a vital role in financing education, medical services, household and investment needs. However, 9
population provide supportive public. In addition economicobjectives of the an of opportunity opportunity to achieve political goals (.). These natures the existence political will to initiate and implement policy and it is critical for making the decisions to political environment commit resources. By contrast, the absence of an enabling public the constrains reform. For instance relapse to corruption may undermine confidence in government’s reform initiatives. And if the public withdraws its support for
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