Employment Minister advises co-operative societies to uphold best practices
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, has advised co-operative organisations to modernise their operations to conform to the changing economies of the world.
He said implementing best practices would help grow their businesses, generate job opportunities for the youth and accelerate the development of the country.
Mr Awuah said as part of the ministry’s efforts to help co-operatives achieve their objectives, his outfit was working to review the Co-operative Societies Act 1968 (NLCD 252), which came into force in 1968, to make the law reflective of contemporary co-operative societies.
“Reviewing the law needs a lot of commitment, time and energy, and we need a law that is more reflective of activities of today,” he added.
The minister was speaking at this year’s International Co-operative Day in Accra yesterday.
The International Co-operative Day is observed annually to increase awareness of cooperatives and also promote the values and principles that make the model suitable for advancing sustainable development.
As part of the commemoration of this year’s occasion, various co-operative societies embarked on a float to create awareness.
The event, which was jointly organised by the Department of Co-operatives and the Ghana Co-operative Council, in collaboration with the sector ministry, was on the theme: “Co-operative for sustainable development”.
The organisers took stock of activities and impact made by co-operatives to enable them to chart a new path.
The minister further advised individuals to pool resources together to form co-operative societies to establish giant businesses to improve on their lives and also help boost the nation’s fortunes.
“We are not committed to the ideals of co-operatives and that is why we are not harnessing the positives.
“If we want to build giant businesses and speed up development, what we need to do is to pool our resources together and do what is called crowd financing,” he said.
Mr Awuah also urged the leadership of co-operatives to be more transparent in their daily transactions to improve investor confidence in their activities, adding: “Suspicions and counter suspicions among you is becoming too much. My plea is that we need to operate an open system that would not create suspicions”.
The acting Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Ghana, Kwabena Apraku Yeboah, said co-operatives existed to find solutions to socio-economic problems such as unemployment and low productivity.
He, however, said the global economic down-turn had affected them in their operations, and therefore, said there was the need for them to pool resources together to ease their financial burdens.
To help address the country’s housing deficit, Mr Yeboah recommended the introduction of a co-operative housing scheme, a policy he said was implemented in other jurisdictions.
He said plans were also underway to form an apex body for cocoa farmers to enable them to increase their productivity and income levels.