The Minister of Trade and Industry, this week, announced that 2012 will be a special year for the country’s cooperative movement. The year will see the setting up of the first ever cooperative college in the country, marking a key milestone in the quest to entrench cooperative societies in the Rwandan community.
Meanwhile, Rwanda and Kenya, this week, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly promote cooperative societies as the two East African countries seek to bolster the incomes of their people.
Rwanda’s 300 registered cooperatives is testimony to how the population has responded positively to the calls for collective development schemes in the recent years.
Hundreds of thousands of Rwandan families have seen their lives transformed a few years after creating or joining cooperatives. They have realized that, in today’s competitive world – where economies of scale matter more than before – you are much stronger in whatever you lay your hands on as a group than as separate individuals.
It is also easier for government and other stakeholders to offer support to citizens grouped under one income-generating entity than reaching out to every individual.
If established, the college will play a key role in building capacity for efficient management of cooperative societies, which will minimize losses currently incurred by cooperatives, nationwide, due to lack prudent managerial skills.
This will, in the long-run, help build public confidence in the cooperative movement which will see more people embracing these schemes.