COOPERATIVE AS A MODEL OF POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVENESS IN UGANDA
Publication Date : 01/07/2010
This paper presents fndings of a study whose objectives are to explore the history and current activities and challenges of the co-operative movement in Uganda as one of the development options for poverty alleviation; and to examine strategies for making it an effective model of poverty alleviation in this 21st Century. Poverty in Uganda is a reality, with Uganda now categorized among the least developed of the developing countries. This is an exploratory research using qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis. It is a desk review of existent literature and related documents and interviews of key persons in co-operative and fnance-related institutions in Uganda. The paper establishes that the co-operative movement, from colonial times to date, has undergone a lot of challenges, both emanating from the cooperatives themselves and those from its contexts. It also establishes that despite many interventions to alleviate poverty by government, especially in the last 20 years, poverty still bites a very signifcant proportion of the population, mainly due to inappropriate model of intervention. The paper agrees that Uganda government’s current promotion of co-operatives is an indication of how it believes in its importance as a complementary development model. The paper argues that for co-operatives to effectively fght poverty amidst the challenges and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, policy innovations should include, frstly, action by the government to provide support and conducive legal environment for the operation of co-operatives and, secondly, reforms within the societies themselves to enable them overcome internal and external forces. The paper also concludes that though the role of government and cooperatives are signifcant in the fght against poverty, the Non-govermental Organizations (NGOs) and the private sectors should equally be engaged in this struggle if meaningful development is to be realized and poverty in particular, fought.
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