Rural Resilience: The Role of Cooperatives in Achieving Sustainable Rural Development

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume III, Issue II, February 2019 | ISSN 2454–6186

Rural Resilience: The Role of Cooperatives in Achieving Sustainable Rural Development

NDAGIJIMANA Ibrahim

PhD Student, Governance and Leadership, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kigali-Rwanda

Abstract: – In his vision 2020, Rwanda consider cooperative as one of the best tools to speed up achievements in various national programs. Cooperative governance is most important in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in one hand and in other hand considered as arm to achieve sustainable development.
Cooperative is a strong vehicle for development and economic empowerment especially among the disadvantaged groups like women, youth and PWDs whom involved in cooperatives in same way, as members either clients or beneficiaries. Cooperative in Rwanda contributes now to the economic wellbeing of more than 2 million people (members), most of them living in rural areas and agricultural cooperatives legally registered in RCA are more than five thousand (Rwanda Cooperative Agency: 2016)
According to RCA home page (2019), agriculture in Rwanda accounts for a third of Rwanda’s GDP; constitutes the main economic activity for the rural households (especially women) and remains their main source of income. Today, the agricultural population is estimated to be a little less than 80% of the total population. The sector meets 90% of the national food needs and generates more than 50% of the country’s export revenues.
However, due to the aforementioned challenges, many cooperatives still struggling to stay operational. In fact, cooperative sector in Rwanda employ a big percentage of people and large and diverse if not mistaken, consisting of agricultural, value chain, arts and handicraft as well as savings and credit groups.
The above brief, highlights the contribution of agricultural cooperatives in Rwanda towards achieving rural sustainable development and for justify why Rwanda consider it as an important instrument to promote sustainable development due to its role in poverty reduction.
Thus, agricultural cooperatives facilitate their members’ access to financial capital, farmers (members) access the inputs required to grow crops and keep livestock and help them process, transport and market their products.
Despites the highlighted impact of agricultural cooperatives in Rwanda, still face huge challenges including but not limited to lack of skills and knowledge on cooperative management, poor internal regulations, lack of practical skills in planning, lack of skills in financial management.
This paper focuses on agricultural cooperatives governance challenges that hinder achievement of sustainable development.

Keywords: Sustainable development, Governance and Management, rural resilience and rural development.

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