State wants co-operative sector to fund Vision 2030
By Nicholas Waitathu
| May 11th 2015 | 2 min read
Government plans to partner with the cash-rich co-operative sector to finance mega projects outlined in the Vision 2030.
It says the projects owing to their size requires more input both from the private sector and public sector, thus qualifying the request to the co-operative movement to fund the new developments.
According to Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary Wilson Songa, the movement has for the last one decade registered tremendous growth giving it new stamina to extend sound input to economic development.
He said the sector controls deposits and assets to the tune of more than Sh500 billion and has the capacity to transform Kenya into an industrialised middle income country in the next 15 years as stipulated in the Vision 2030.
"Owing to the new developments in the economy, for example, cheaper power and new infrastructure, co-operative sector ought to enhance its investment mainly in the rural areas to curb rural-urban migration and opens us more avenues for wealth creation," said Mr Songa while launching the 2015 National Ushirika Day Celebrations Council in Nairobi last week.
He acknowledged that the sector has recovered from long period of gross mismanagement, drastic effects of the liberalisation and low uptake of technology.
"We have reorganised the sector over the last one decade and now it has fully recovered gaining strength to move into other sectors of the economy," he added.
Co-operative societies are present in all the sectors of the economy and are contributing cumulatively about 45 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and controlling more than 30 per cent of national savings.
"Currently, we have 18,000 registered co-operative societies with 12 million members. This makes Kenya the leading country in Africa and position seven in the world. In 2014, Saccos had mobilised Sh460 billion in member deposits, "he added.
Songa challenged co-operative leaders to broaden their operation scope with a view to exploiting the available and emerging investment opportunities in the local and regional market.
Co-operative Alliance of Kenya Vice-chairman Japheth Magomere said the movement wants President Kenyatta to create a separate ministry for it. He said for the last two years the sector has not been given the due attention despite its contribution to the national economy.
"We have been consulting with members of Parliament, co-operative leaders and we have written to the president to lobbying for the creation of a new ministry for co-operative societies. We have are hopeful he will respond positively," he added.
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