By Joseph Ng’ang’a (KNA)
The government has reiterated its commitment to creating an enabling environment for a robust cooperative sector in Kenya, which is a main source of financing for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Cooperatives and MSME’s Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said that in view of this, the ministry is implementing the Sessional Paper No. 4 of 2020 on National Cooperative Policy themed “Promoting Cooperatives for Socio-Economic Transformation.”
Chelugui said that the Cooperatives Bill has received Cabinet approval and has been forwarded to the Attorney General for submission to Parliament.
On Wednesday during the annual Cooperative Leaders Consultative Conference, the CS said that the Coffee Bill 2023 and Coffee Policy were presented to joint Senate and Motional Assembly Departmental Committees and their input was incorporated. The Bill is at its second reading in the Senate.
“This Bill will reinstate the Coffee Board of Kenya and The Coffee Research Institute as standalone institutions. This is expected to re-energize the growth and development of the coffee sub-sector especially in the areas of research and market access,” he said.
Chelugui explained that the Sacco Central and Shared Services have been operationalized and more Saccos are joining daily.
The bill seeks to establish the office of the Commissioner for Cooperative Development at the national level of government and the office of the County Director for Cooperatives in each county government.
The office of the Commissioner for Cooperative Development will be responsible for the promotion, registration, and regulation of Cooperatives and provide for inter-governmental Cooperative relations.
Chelugui said that the objective of this bill is to provide a legal framework that promotes a sustainable and competitive cooperative sector for socio-economic development in a devolved system of governance.
“The bill seeks to promote uniform norms and standards in the registration, regulation, supervision, and management of Cooperatives and establish a framework for consultation and cooperation amongst counties,” said the CS.
He explained that this will be established by implementing the Bill’s proposal on the framework for good governance and ethical conduct in Cooperatives.
He said that the office of the Commissioner for Cooperative Development shall be an office in the Public Service and shall be responsible for the growth, development, and regulation of Cooperatives in Kenya.
Chelugui commended the cooperative leaders for organizing the conference saying that it brings together cooperative leaders, policymakers, experts, and representatives from diverse sub-sectors for the purpose of assessing sector performance, sharing insights, and catalyzing positive change within the sector which is a positive move for the crucial sector.