This report is the first outcome of a joint project by the International Cooperative Research Group, a division of the US Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC), and the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises (EURICSE). The purpose of the research is to provide an analysis of the legal, economic, and policy environments in which cooperatives operate in four African countries. The final research report will also look at the challenges and opportunities facing 16 selected cooperative development programs. The overall aim of the research is to support the creation of cooperatives and the scaling up of strategies in the agricultural sector of sub-Saharan Africa.
The research is focused on cooperative development programs conducted in the agrarian sector of the African countries by cooperative enterprises, as well as by cooperative development organizations (CDOs) linked to the North American and European cooperative movements.
In cooperative development, it is important to keep in mind not only the advantages that cooperatives can bring, but also the problems that can arise in trying to create them. The goal of this project is that, by developing a better understanding of the context of cooperatives in a variety of countries and the effectiveness of different cooperative projects, CDOs in North America and Europe will be able to improve the effectiveness of their co-op development strategies.