Working together to develop co-op legislation in Africa

Many African co-operatives are facing challenges such as inhibitive laws, inadequate laws, political interference, indifferent membership, mismanagement and limited use of technology. To address these gaps, a draft model law has been developed, and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF Canada) has been actively participating in these discussions. 

A consultative meeting was held with Regional and National Parliaments, Co-operative movements and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Nairobi, Kenya to gather their views and input into the draft model law.  

The Pan-African Parliament and the International Cooperative Alliance-Africa organized the meeting and parliamentarians and government officials from Kenya, representatives of the African Union Commission’s Departments, United Nations agencies, and civil society organizations from Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, and other countries, attended the event. 

The meeting ensured the draft Model Law on Cooperatives for Africa incorporated the views of co-operative development stakeholders in Africa and aligned with the Pan-African Parliament’s directive to ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and integration of the continent. 

During the two-day meeting, stakeholders identified gaps and areas where the draft model law could be improved, how to address these gaps and they also discussed best legislative and policy practices in the management and regulation of co-operatives. Finally, participants promoted stakeholders’ ownership of the draft law and committed to its final adoption. 

CDF Canada has been a supporter of this initiative since the beginning by funding these meetings and providing input to stakeholders, ensuring CDF Canada’s advocacy for co-operative development. 

During the consultation, CDF Canada was recognized for its work on this initiative as well as its efforts in supporting the co-operative movement throughout Africa.  

After the meeting, a sub-committee was formed to go through the draft model law to ensure participants’ amendments are incorporated. Once this is done, it will be validated by the Pan-African Parliamentary (PAP) Committee on Financial and Monetary Affairs and subsequently submitted to the PAP Plenary for adoption.    

Throughout this process, CDF Canada will share the draft law, and will provide input, like other co-operative stakeholders, on the proposed legislation. 

The First Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament resolved to develop a model law on co-operatives in November 2022 with the first draft created in March 2023. 

The Pan-African Parliament, established in 2004, is a platform for the people of all African states to discuss and make decisions on the problems and challenges facing the continent.  

The International Cooperative Alliance – Africa serves, unites, and represents International Cooperative Alliance member organizations in Africa and promotes and strengthens autonomous and viable co-operatives throughout the region. 

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