The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade, is vigorously pursuing building capacity for cooperatives in Swaziland. Cooperatives serve their membership achieve their socio-economic needs and goals through the establishment and operation of autonomous, member owned business, which generate income and employment by pooling limited resources and reducing risks while simultaneously promoting social integration and cohesion in communities. Cooperatives are seen as a simple form of financial institutions and well suited to the socio- economic milieu of the rural settings and poor communities. Furthermore Cooperatives are perceived as innovative institutions, able to secure the participation of communities at local level.
Management of Cooperatives however remains key in sustenance of such schemes as vehicles of income generation and social security in communities. Studies have revealed that malfunctioning or closure of these schemes are due to: inadequate business management skills and entrepreneurship among staff and elected board members; poor governance in administering principles of Cooperatives; limited advocacy and communication skills, and; financial constraints which make it impossible to hire calibre staff and provision of capacity building among members and leaders.
In a bid to address the challenges alluded to above the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade intends building capacity for the leaders of the Cooperatives in the country including the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Trade, Department of Cooperative Staff. In this regard the services of an expert on cooperatives’ issues are being sort by the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Trade to improve the management capacities of Cooperatives in the country.
The main objective of this assignment is to enhance sustainability, effectiveness of Cooperatives in the country. Specifically:
- To create Cooperative Boards that aligns the operations of their co-operatives with World Council of Credit Union (WOCCU) standards.
- To improve the management and profitability of the Savings and Credit Co-operatives in the country.
- To strengthen the Co-operative identity in the general membership.