Identifying Processes and Policies Conducive to Cooperative Development in Africa

Research Area: Local development
Scientific coordinator: Carlo Borzaga
Project Manager: Barbara Franchini

Project status:  concluded


The research is focused on cooperative development programs conducted in the agrarian sector of African countries by cooperative enterprises, as well as by cooperative development organizations (CDOs) linked to the North American and European cooperative movements.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to supporting the creation of cooperatives and the scaling up of development strategies in the agricultural sector of sub-Saharan Africa.


The specific objective of the research is to provide insight into the factors that can help or hinder the creation of agricultural cooperatives in Africa, based on the challenges and opportunities facing a number of selected cooperative development programs and on an analysis of the legal, economic, and policy environments of the countries in which those programs are located. By developing a better understanding of the context for cooperatives in a variety of countries and the effectiveness of different cooperative projects, the research seeks to help CDOs to improve the effectiveness of their co-op development strategies.

This research project is conceived as having two phases. The research report published so far is the result of the first phase of the research, which consisted of secondary data collection, including a comprehensive literature review, policy and legal document review and analysis and project report review and analysis. Based on this initial phase of the research, Euricse and OCDC are exploring the possibility of complementary field-based research.


The research activities conducted may be divided into two main steps:

Main results

The research report includes an outline of the purpose, methodology, and main results of the mapping survey; the main findings of each the four national studies; a cross-country comparative analysis and a set of key issues for cooperative development that emerged from the country studies. Finally, it concludes with a set of questions for further research. Annexes to the research report include the full report on the mapping survey (Annex I) and the complete national studies (Annexes II-V).


Identifying Processes and Policies Conducive to Cooperative Development in Africa


Euricse, OCDC (U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council), USAID

CDos that participated in the research: Agricultural Cooperative Development International & Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance, Canadian Cooperative Association, Cooperative Resources International, Coopermondo, European Community of Consumer Cooperatives, Fédération Nationale des Coopératives d’Utilisation de Matériel Agricole, German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation, Global Communities, Legacoop, Land O’Lakes Inc., National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International, Société de Coopération pour le Développement International, The Co-operative College, We Effect, World Council of Credit Unions.



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