vp mujuru joice speaking on smes.jpgGovernment fully supports the development of sustainable co-operatives which are a vehicle for rapid socio-economic growth.

This was said by Vice President Joice Mujuru at the International Cooperatives Day commemorations in Harare.

Members of cooperatives from various sectors including housing, micro-finance and the manufacturing industry converged in the capital to commemorate the International Day of Cooperatives with indications that government is willing to fully support the development of such institutions which are key in transforming livelihoods.

VP Mujuru expressed government’s willingness to support the growth of cooperatives through legislation and various policies which favour their growth and development.

“As government, we have since realised that the cooperatives assist a lot in poverty eradication and enhancing livelihoods,” she said.

Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operatives Development Minister, Sithembiso Nyoni, said co-operatives have played an important role in creating solidarity and self-help in the interest of the most disadvantaged stakeholders, hence government’s decision to fully integrate them through policy formulation.

She said, “As government we have a deliberate policy to assist cooperatives through various programmes such as lending money and infrastructural development and as such this has helped in enhancing the growth of the sector.”

The president of the Federation of Cooperatives, Mr. Mike Duru, applauded government for the provision of infrastructure for cooperatives which he said have assisted in creating a favourable operating environment.

The International Day of Co-operatives is celebrated annually to recognise the role played by such small and organised institutions in the eradication of poverty.

These exist in the form of housing cooperatives and savings clubs.

In Zimbabwe, small enterprises such as home industries fall under this category.

Some of the day’s goals are to increase awareness on cooperatives, as well as strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other supporting organisations including governments.