by Ronald Njoroge
NAIROBI, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Kenya is developing a policy that will enable cooperatives to contribute to sustainable development in the country, a senior official said Wednesday.
Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Adan Mohammed told a cooperative forum in Nairobi that stakeholders are currently developing a National Cooperative Development Policy draft that will be presented to Cabinet for approval.
"If all goes as planned, the policy should be in place by the end of the 2017," Mohammed said during the Second Savings and Credit Cooperatives (Saccos) Leaders' Convention.
He said that a close scrutiny of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reveals that cooperatives have a lot of relevance especially in the area of sustainable development.
"Kenya therefore hopes to leverage on the cooperative movement to achieve the SDG targets," he said.
He noted that the cooperative sector already contributes significantly to Kenya's socio-economic development, and the new policy will put in place a conducive environment for the operation of cooperatives.
Government data indicate that the Sacco subsector has over 6,000 active registered co-operatives, which have mobilized deposits to the tune of 6 billion U.S. dollars.
Mohammed said that the co-operative business model is very unique in that it is value-based and principle-driven and as such, it is a suitable vehicle for socio-economic development.
He observed that the cooperatives are an integral part of Kenya's economic strategy on poverty reduction, employment creation and equitable distribution of resources.