TITLE: COOPERATIVES AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
This paper contributes on the understanding of the cooperative governance and their contribution in urban development agenda. It takes Mamsera Rural Cooperative Society Limited and Karanga LCT SACCOS as the cases in point. The study was done through the use of interviews which were done through ready prepared questions. The interview was not the only methodology used to collect the data, other methods include Observation method where it involved the collection of data by seeing on the activities carried out by the cooperatives where the observed activities includes the collection and measuring of the coffee bags, brick making process, payments process and record keeping process. The Group Discussion method was also used where this method was used to members with the aim of getting the feedback concerning their awareness and their involvement in the governance of their cooperative. The result of the study shows that, the contribution of these cooperatives in urban development has been seen in various aspects including tax payment done to their municipality, providing opportunities for more investments in urban areas through provision of loans to its members as well as ability of these cooperatives to put more efforts on education programs. Most importantly, through capacity development and training programs which include set of training and information specifically to self-help actions of individuals in business environments cooperatives have managed to provide the direct skills as well as the necessary information to the people concerning their investments and the businesses, thus encouraging urban development. Cooperative societies play a vital role in assisting the government and the country as a whole in the achievement of more equitable social and economic growth of the nation. Urban development focuses on governance, environmental planning and management, urban economy, education, training and research and urban planning. Cooperatives cover most of the urban development focus as it can be easily identified in the findings of this field report titled “cooperative and urban development” on the issues like provision of education and training, fostering the urban economy through taxation and loan provision. The cooperatives have been the remedy to the poor people which constitutes the majority of people in our country, where through cooperatives these people can join hands and cooperate to accomplish more than they can achieve individually in different aspects of their lives. In view of the above results, the study concludes that due to rapid urbanization trends in many Tanzanian towns which are influenced by social and economic aspects, then the policies for urban development need to be reviewed so that cooperatives can be involved in the urban development agenda by various sides including urban developers, politicians, and architects who may be able to stress on the social responsibility of cooperatives as well as cooperatives being the remedy to the poor people lives and therefore facilitating progressive urban development.
Cooperatives in Tanzania have a long history, dating back to the late 1920s. In times past, they played a vital role in rural and urban economic and social development of the country. However, more recently the image has become a negative one. For many people in Tanzania, coops are seen as stuck in the past, unable to cope with modern economic realities. Far from being models of member self empowerment, their image is tarnished by poor administration and leadership, poor business practice, and by corruption (Bibby, A 2006). Despite these challenges it is quite evident that Cooperatives have been an important part of the development of Tanzania for 75 years. In general urbanisation in Tanzania is characterised by unguided spatial expansion and settlement densification, proliferation of informal settlements, deterioration...
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