The State of Cooperatives in Rural Africa: Drawing Lessons for South African Cooperative Movement

The State of Cooperatives in Rural Africa: Drawing Lessons for South African Cooperative Movement

Ndwakhulu Stephen Tshishonga (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2306-3.ch007

Abstract

This chapter examines the relationship between the rural development and cooperative movement and the implications of such a relationship in terms of addressing socio-economic challenges in Africa and still upholding the cooperative ideals, principles, and values. The chapter starts off by conceptualising cooperatives followed by the evolution of cooperatives in Africa with specific focus on opportunities and challenges faced by cooperative enterprises in addressing socio-economic challenges in rural Africa. A brief history of selected case studies such as Ghanaian and Kenyan cooperative movements are highlighted. The historical account is followed by an overview of cooperative movement in the context of South Africa. In addition, lessons are drawn from selected cases for South African cooperative movement and finally the concluding remarks. This chapter makes use of case studies as the core research method.
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Background

The adverse effects of globalization and its underlying principles such as privatization, deregulation and trade and financial liberalization (Primo & Taylor, 1999) including the impact of structural adjustment Programme (SAPs) the poor and the marginalized especially in the Third world are left destitute and underdeveloped. In this regard, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) noted that African governments seem to be at a loss in terms of strategies they can adopt to guide people around the crisis by its internal problems and globalization towards sustainable development through form of good governance and sound management practices. The eradication of poverty and managing development that creates opportunities for the poor remain a challenge in Africa hence the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) argues that the management of poverty should not only be for poverty eradication but also for mobilizing for economic freedom. Despite the rising unemployment, rocketing poverty and gross in equality, the situation is further worsened by civil wars, climate change giving rise to famine and droughts in Africa (Binns, et al., 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Co-Op Principles: Include voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic participation, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, cooperation among cooperatives, concern for community.

Co-Op Movement: This is when groups of people from different co-ops who through common values and activities organise themselves to meet their goals which are often economic in order to improve their lives and livelihoods.

CO-OP: This is a type business run by a group of people who have common goals particularly in meeting their needs or livelihoods.

Co-Op Values: Co-op values include self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, solidarity.

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