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Monday 25 May 2015



About 63 per cent of Kenyans directly and indirectly depend on co-operative-related activities for their livelihood. The sector has mobilised more than KSh170 billion in savings.


Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing, Kenya

The Co-operative Movement in Kenya

The Co-operative movement in Kenya is one of the strongest and most diverse in Africa. That is the reason the Government established a specialised ministry to coordinate activities in the important sectors of the economy. Co-operatives have made a great contribution towards Kenya’s socioeconomic development.


Since the pre-independence era, co-operative societies and unions in Kenya have been involved in offering a wide variety of economic and social services that include provision of credit facilities, insurance, housing, education, building and construction, mining, land purchases, agriculture and transport.


Kenya has had one of the most vibrant and dynamic co-operative sectors in Africa. From agricultural and livestock co-operative societies in the rural areas to the savings and loan co-operatives in the urban centres, the main thrust is to provide quality but affordable services to members.


It is now clear to most Kenyans through civic education programmes that the cooperative movement has a significant role to play both in their own personal lives and in the overall national development strategy. The co-operative movement will be an important instrument in the achievement of the ambitious goals spelled out in the Vision 2030 socio-economic blueprint.  


National bodies such as the Kenya National Farmers’ Union (KNFU) and the Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Organisations (KUSCO) along with the Co-operative Insurance Services (CIS) provide both valuable services and training to members of co-operative societies.


The Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing ensures the co-operative movement is properly managed and continues to develop and prosper for the benefit of the majority of poor and middleincome Kenyans.


It is recognised by the Government that the co-operative movement can be a major catalyst to national socio-economic development and play a major role in the attainment of the goals of Vision 2030.


Co-operatives, both in urban and in rural areas, provide ample opportunities for savings and income generation for members in all social and economic classes. Higher productivity in rural parts of the country where agriculture and livestock rearing are the main activities can be ensured through the formation and development of cooperatives.


The Ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing was re-established in 2003 to promote the sector’s development. It had the onerous task of resuscitating a once-vibrant network of co-operative societies and unions facing virtual collapse due to neglect and mismanagement.


This scenario was attributed to the inadequacies of the Co-operative Societies Act No.12 of 1997.  


Since the Ministry was re-established, the co-operative sector has made tremendous achievements towards wealth and employment creation. Currently, there are more than 12,000 registered co-operative societies with a membership approaching 8 million. Many of the co-operative societies and unions are gradually returning to a state of sustainability.


About 63 per cent of Kenya’s population directly and indirectly depend on cooperative- related activities for their livelihood. The sector has mobilised more than KSh170 billion in savings, which translates into about 31 per cent of all national savings.


The main objective of the Ministry’s Service Charter is to clearly spell out guidelines to the public on the types of services offered. These guidelines include service delivery targets, quality and timeliness, and clients’ rights and obligations.


Under the leadership of the Minister for Cooperative Development and Marketing, the Hon Joseph Nyagah, EGH, MP, Assistant Minister Linah Jebii Kilimo and Permanent Secretary Seno Nyakenyanya, the cooperative movement in Kenya is now widely considered to have a very bright future.




To be a leading agent for a globally competitive co-operative sector.



To provide a commercially-oriented cooperative sector through an enabling policy and legal framework for sustainable socioeconomic development.



  • Co-operative Policy Formulation and Implementation
  • Co-operative Legislation and Registration
  • Provision of Co-operatives Extension Services
  • Co-operative Education and Training
  • Co-operative Financing Policy
  • Co-operative Savings, Credit and Banking Services Policy
  • Co-operative Governance
  • Co-operative Tribunal
  • New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (New KCC)
  • The Co-operative College
  • Co-operative Marketing, including value addition processing
  • Promotion of Co-operative Ventures


Recent Achievements by the Ministry:

  • The Ministry has achieved a great deal since it was re-established in 2003. Listed below are just some of its major achievements:
  • Review and amendment of the Cooperative Societies Act.
  • Formulation of the Ministry’s Policy and Legal framework.
  • Production of the Ministry Strategic Plan.
  • Revival of the New KCC.
  • Reconstruction and resuscitation of the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA).
  • Creation of Ethics and Governance Department to oversee transparent and accountable management of co-operative societies.
  • The Ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, is in the process of reviewing the Coffee Act to improve production and marketing of coffee.
  • The Ministry has drafted the Sacco (Savings And Credit Co-operatives) Bill, which is already at the Attorney General’s Chambers for onward processing before passage in Parliament.
  • The Ministry has facilitated computer training for staff at its headquarters in Nairobi.