There is optimism that cooperatives are the best engine to drive equality among Rwandans and thus push for improved livelihoods.
Francois Kanimba, minister of trade and industry says that cooperatives are key in ensuring that equality among Rwandans where the gap between those who have and those who don’t have is closed.
“Today, I would like to remind Rwandans that working together in cooperatives is the best way of promoting national growth,” he said.
Damien Mugabo, director general at Rwanda Cooperative Agency-RCA says that cooperatives play a key role in transforming people’s lives, something that is vital in boosting the country’s economy.
“We have seen people’s lives changing for better when they join cooperatives,” said Mugabo adding that cooperatives have the power to help communities to develop thus achieve economic development.
The cooperatives are part of the government initiatives to help people mainly the rural folks to lift themselves out of poverty, access credit and share knowledge mainly in farming and business.
Mugabo says that through cooperatives financial institutions have been able to change credit to members while on the other hand the cooperatives have helped to streamline production within the agriculture sector.
For example, recently the ministry of trade in a bid to curb price fluctuation within the value chain of different commodities, used cooperatives to ensure that famers have control over the value chain in price determination.
“This is why we are encouraging those who haven to yet joined to join,” Mugabo stressed as the country marked the international day of cooperatives that ran with the theme ‘choose cooperatives, choose equality’.
Nevertheless, most people are uncertain to join cooperatives saying that cooperatives leaders are untrustworthy which makes members lose their money.
But earlier, Rwanda cooperative agency moved in to help cooperatives have managerial skills, organization planning as well as equipping some of these cooperatives which are profit oriented with technology such as computers.