WINDHOEK, 12 AUG.-The Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF), launched the revised Namibia Co-operative Policy in Windhoek earlier this week.
Co-operatives represent an effective means of economic inclusion of economically less developed communities in mainstream economies in many countries around the world, according to Minster John Mutorwa.
“In both developed and developing Economies, Farmers Co-operatives, Savings and Credit Co–operatives (SACCOs), Housing Co-operatives among others have organized themselves into formidable economic players that control farmer’s markets, banking and micro finance and retail in several countries,” Mutorwa said.
He added that Namibia’s co-operatives have had a slow start since independence, mainly because of low entrepreneurial skills resulting in high dependency on government and development partners to facilitate co-operatives development.
There are currently 146 co-operatives in Namibia, majority of them in the agricultural sector, and several others in mining, manufacturing, financing, and arts and crafts.
The Namibian Co-operative Policy is essentially a revision of the 1992 National Co-operative Policy which has been developed by stakeholders in the co-operative sector through the MAWF. The Namibia Co-operative Policy represents a milestone in the development of co-operatives in Namibia.
“This policy recognizes that co-operatives are private players that must be take charge of their development and conditions under which public goods may be accessible to co-operate development and conditions under which may be accessible to co-operative members. The Policy also provides for an organizational structure including an apex organization of co-operatives which will facilitate communication and coordination of actives between government and co-operatives,” Mutorwa said.
He further added that together, Namibia can create sustainable co-operatives that are aimed at enhancing economic inclusivity and make co-operatives the main players of the countries economic development, leading to wider ownership of the economy by Namibians.-Jonsey Douglas