Colonization and Decolonization of Co-Operatives in Tanzania: An Analysis of Members’ Ownership and Control Rights

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Gratian Rwekaza


In Tanzania the colonization of co-operatives organisation happens where members who are the owners in co-operatives were found isolated in the decision-making machinery. The control rights in co-operatives which are vested to members who are the owners; such control rights have not yet been attained by members due to several factors. The paper was guide by two questions; what the root courses for co-operative colonization are and what available strategies for decolonization are in co-operative sector. The study used descriptive design that is based on qualitative analysis. Data collection was based on empirical review, focus group discussion with board and management of the SACCOS and AMCOS, key informant interviews with co-operative union managers and union board chairmen, and TCDC management. Interviews were done in the regions of Kilimanjaro, Manyara, Singida, Shinyanga, Kagera, Katavi and Tabora. The findings indicate that, before independent (1961) co-operative had no power over prices of their commodities and were promoted to strengthen the collection of cash crops to feed the capitalist economy. Co-operative as a member owned social-economic enterprise, its member democratic ownership and control is still in the hands of the state government which dictates the legal framework. Financial dependence in co-operatives has not been realised since most of these institutions depend on financial supports in terms of loans and donor funding. The decolonisation process realised which is the establishment of TCDC, revamping of SCULT, presidential efforts in co-operatives (2015-2020); can bring lights to the promotion of co-operative that are members owners and free from financial, managerial and technological dependence. The study concludes that, colonial masters did not have intension to develop citizens than gaining produce to feed their industries. The colonization through involvement of politicians in co-operatives, politics still dictated the fate of co-operative societies. The study recommends to the Tanzania Co-operative Development Commission that, the member driven model be adopted as opposed to the later. The responsible ministry for co-operative promotion and development to have programs for co-operative development programs that are grassroot based than top-down approach for promotion. Co-operative should increase their retained earnings to increase their capital structures which will alleviate external capitalization dependency syndromes.


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Rwekaza, G. (2021). Colonization and Decolonization of Co-Operatives in Tanzania: An Analysis of Members’ Ownership and Control Rights. East Africa Journal of Social and Applied Sciences (EAJ-SAS), 3(1).