The number of co-operative societies has shot up by close to 1,000 within one year to 5,426 from 4,442, statistics from the Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA) indicate.
According to the Rwanda Co-operatives Agency, the figure includes only societies that meet legal requirements.
Speaking during a press conference to mark the International Co-operatives Day on Saturday, Damien Mugabo, the RCA director general, said they have put in place measures to ensure that more co-operatives operate legally.
The International Day of Co-operatives aims at encouraging the public to establish more co-operatives world over and also to recognise the impact of those in existence in promoting people’s welfare.
This year, the day was marked under the theme, “Co-operative enterprise remains strong in times of crisis”.
Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade and Industry, noted that co-operatives were able to stay afloat over the past year despite the global economic downturn. He promised government’s support to strengthen the co-operatives so that they contribute to national development.
“Co-operatives are developing at a high rate, and given the achievements registered so far, it is evident that they are contributing to job-creation, especially among the youth,” Kanimba said.
He added the government would sopport co-operatives and ensure that they have good leadership, saying this would boost the country’s efforts to achieving the Second phase of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The minister urged business people to work with co-operatives to establish reliable and sustainable commodity supply chains.
“Co-operatives in all sectors of the economy are doing well because of improved management,” said Augustin Katabarwa, the National Co-op¬erative Confederation of Rwanda boss.