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Cooperating out of poverty: The renaissance of the African cooperative movement

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Edited by Patrick Develtere, Ignace Pollet, Fredrick Wanyama, ILO and The World Bank Institute, Geneva., February 2009

Cooperatives are omnipresent in Africa and represent a significant part of the private sector in most African countries. Successful and economically viable cooperatives create economic opportunities, provide a basic level of social protection and security, and provide their members with voice and representation. Yet, there are weaknesses and deficiencies of cooperatives in certain countries or sectors that result in poor performance. This book offers an objective analysis of the state of affairs of the cooperative sector in Africa since the liberalization of the economy in the early 1990s. It contains a historical overview of cooperative development in the continent and in-depth country studies that illustrate not only the structure and operation of the cooperative sector, but also analyse the major strengths and weaknesses of various cooperative undertakings in Africa. The aim of this book is to alert governments, donors and researchers to a fragmented, dispersed movement and make a case for the viability of cooperatives in Africa.