Kenya has launched an online portal to enhance service delivery in the cooperative sector that has been grappling with under-performance linked to slow uptake of technology, governance hiccups and a deficit in skilled personnel.
Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Adan Mohamed said digitisation of savings and credit societies will improve their competitiveness and appeal to investors.
“The government has prioritised adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) as an enabler to growth of cooperative industry. The launch of an online portal is expected to promote efficient service delivery among cooperative organisations,” Mohamed said.
The country has one of the most vibrant cooperative sectors in the region, whose contribution to the gross domestic product is estimated at 48%.
Mohamed said the government is finalising development of a national cooperative development policy that is expected to transform the sector through technology adoption and skills upgrade.
“We are proposing large-scale use of appropriate digital tools to boost performance of savings and credit schemes that are a huge source of employment and revenue to the exchequer,” said Mohamed.
He noted that automation of cooperative organisations will boost transparency and eliminate backlog that undermined performance of the analog system.
“The overall benefits of digitising cooperative sector include an efficient registration process, easier monitoring and reduction of red-tape,” Mohamed said.
He noted that enactment of robust policies and legislation has facilitated growth of Kenya’s cooperative movement, which is currently ranked the seventh best in the world.
Kenya has incorporated the cooperative sector in its national poverty alleviation and employment strategies.
Commissioner for Cooperatives Mary Mungai said the savings and credit societies are an integral part of Kenya’s economic revival plan.
“Cooperative societies remain part of the government’s economic growth strategy, especially in areas of employment creation and poverty eradication,” Mungai said.