Skills gaps in co-operatives stifling growth

Friday June 26 2020


Legislators have called on the government to first carry out thought survey to identifying the living cooperatives as well as the separation of duties among the governing agencies. Photo | Cyril NDEGEYA  

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Members of Parliament are calling for the separation of obligations in co-operatives' governing entities, whose poor managerial skills are weighing down the development of co-operatives.

According to a study by the Upper House in the parliament, the lack of managerial skills cuts across from co-operative's managers to oversight bodies.

The Senate report indicates that despite an upsurge in numbers of co-operatives, lack of management of the resources undermines efforts to thrive.

“Co-operative bodies do not have sufficient management skills. Even the National Co-operative Confederation of Rwanda, which is vested with the capacity building responsibility is not well-known among members,” said Juvenal Nkusi, chairperson of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Finance in the Senate.

Official figures count over 10,025 co-operatives countrywide registered with Rwanda Co-operative Agency and encompassing 67.9 per cent of the country’s population or nearly five million people, with a capital share of Rwf49 billion.

However, besides ghost co-operatives, the study found that only a handful members understand and comply with the principles of co-operatives.


Despite the co-operatives' contributions to improving the welfare of members, the report found that local authorities and governing agencies did not have enough staff and capacity to monitor the functioning and management of co-operatives.

The report that presented to the General Assembly last week indicates that many of the co-operatives are not properly monitored as the RCA only has capacity to control 1,000 co-operatives a year but has 10,000 co-operatives under their wing.

“Mismanagement of most co-operatives has been an issue for a long time,” Prof Jean Bosco Harelimana said, prompting the reforms started two years ago, to complement reforms in the co-operatives' governing law currently in parliament for scrutiny.