Creating of an Enabling Environment for Co-op Development (1998)

This document has been made available in electronic
format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
June, 1998
(Source: ICA Regional Office for West Africa -Activity Report for 1996-1997, pp.15-16)

Creating of an Enabling Environment for Co-operative Development

Political, social and economical changes in our region raised the governments awareness on the need to adapt co-operative legislation and policies to the new environment. The definition of policies and the amendment to laws are meant to contribute to the improvement the co-operative environment.

Improving the co-operative environment has become a priority in our day, given the new political, economic and social changes and the inadequacies of co-operative policies and laws to the current context.

ICA/ROWA and the ILO have undertaken joint actions to support governments in Burkina Faso and Guinea Conakry in defining new policies and amending co-operative laws. Several missions, reflection, sensitisation and information seminars and workshops have been conducted.

Guinea Conakry
In September, 1996, ICA/ROWA and the ILO COOPREORM programme undertook an identification and analyses mission in Guinea.

The ILO/ICA mission had audience with seven Ministers who are technically or legally responsible for co-operatives or who are in partnership with the Guinean co-operative movement.

Upon completion of the mission, a document on the analyses of the situation as well as an activity programme was proposed to the political authorities for formulating a new policy, and a scheme for examining and amending the laws in force.

The reform process is being implemented, thanks to a UNDP funding.

Burkina Faso
The process started in October 1996 through an audience with the Minister of Agriculture and a national sensitisation and launching workshop which brought the major partners together.

After this first workshop, ROWA, in collaboration with ILO (ACOPAM a COOPREORM programmes) and the local authorities wrote the terms of reference of the workshops, the consultants' mandates and the analysis guides.

From September to December, 1997, ROWA contributed to :

Four national consultants and an international one were recruited and involved in the process.

The two documents are being reviewed by the government.

Côte d'Ivoire
Since 1995, ROWA provided support to the political authorities and co-operative movements in Côte d'Ivoire in order to amend the co-operative legislation of this country.

On 23rd December 1997, the new law was promulgated with the following innovations:

Cape Verde
At the beginning of 1996, there was the idea of inserting co-operative legislation into the Commercial Code. Let us recall that ROWA had to support INC in 1993 for the amendment process of the fundamental law regarding co-operatives. National consultants took a two-month field trip (from October 1 to November 30, 1993) in order to collect the information necessary to draft the legislation. A national meeting was also organised on December 15 and 16, 1993 in order to discuss the text of the drafted legislation. In 1997, the Institute of Co-operatives (INC) submitted a project document to ROWA for the dissemination and popularisation of this new law, but ROWA is waiting for concrete proceedings before continuing its support.

The major constraints and difficulties hampering the creation of a favourable legal, administrative and political environment for co-operative may be summed up as follows :