Regional stakeholders endorse the formulation of a PAP Model Law on Cooperatives in Africa


Plans to develop a Model Law on Cooperatives in Africa have received a major boost after enlisting the support of key continental players, as the consultation process comes to an end.

Spearheaded by the Permanent Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), in collaboration with the International Cooperatives Alliance - Africa (ICA-A), a Consultative Meeting on the Draft Model Law on Cooperatives in Africa was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 29 – 30 August 2023.

Following a thorough two-day consultative process where participants vigorously deliberated on all parts and articles of the draft Model legislation on Cooperatives in Africa, the proposed law will now move to the next phase of the validation journey.

The consultation in Nairobi resulted in several invaluable inputs and proposals made by the participants, which will be incorporated and refined in the draft Model Law on Cooperatives in a technical session by the drafting Team, prior to its consideration by the Pan-African Parliament Committee on Financial and Monetary Affairs, before submission to the Pan-African Parliament Plenary, the highest decision-making structure of the Continental Parliament.

The Consultation brought together Members of the Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs, Parliamentarians from the Republic of Kenya, Representatives of the African Union Commission’s Departments, United Nations agencies and representatives of Civil Society Organisations, particularly the cooperative movement from Eastern, Southern, Northern, Western and Central Africa as well as the Diaspora.

The meeting aimed to ensure that the proposed Model Law on Cooperatives in Africa incorporates the views and aspirations of the people of Africa, in line with the mandate of the Pan-African Parliament, which is to “ensure the full participation of African peoples in the development and economic integration of the continent.”

The Consultative Meeting was officially opened by Mr. Steven Otieno, Advisor: Cooperatives from the Economic Transformation Secretariat in the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Kenya, representing Mr. Patrick Kilemi, Principal Secretary, Cooperatives in the Republic of Kenya.

In his remarks, he highlighted the resilience of cooperatives in enhancing Small and Medium Enterprises, diaspora remittances, affordable housing. He noted that the model law was a step in the right direction as it would enhance governance in cooperatives organisations with a key emphasis on issues of succession.

“Cooperatives are a platform for promoting trade within the continent and should therefore be encouraged and promoted through cooperatives. I urge you to consult widely on the proposed model law so that it can effectively serve the peoples of Africa.”

Hon. Mohamed Muntaka, Chairperson of the Committee on Monetary and Financial Affairs highlighted the process of model law making within the Pan-African Parliament noting that the consultations on the proposed model law on Cooperatives in Africa would help the Parliament propose to the African Union a document that can be used in uniformity across the continent by cooperatives, and thereby promote socio-economic growth, thereby achieving key goals of Agenda 2063.

Mr. Gash Mesfin, Director, International Cooperatives Alliance-Africa highlighted the importance of the proposed Model Law that would be a milestone outcome for cooperative movements. The cooperative movement framework, he added, helps address community aspirations that foster prosperity and social well-being.

The Model Law is intended as a soft-law instrument that member states of the African Union (AU) can use or adapt to provide guidance to law and even policymakers on the governance and operations of cooperatives.