Cooperatives are crucial in realizing the structural transformation of Ethiopia’s economy, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has said.
The premier made the statement on Thursday at the opening of the 4th National Cooperatives’ Exhibition, Bazaar and Symposium at Addis Ababa Exhibition Center.
The Federal Cooperatives Agency for its part said the exhibition is part of the move to enhancing cooperatives contribution to the national development.
According to the Agency, there are 370 cooperative unions in Ethiopia, with a total capital of 3.5 billion Birr.
The cooperative unions have played a crucial role in stabilizing the market and adding value to export of diversified raw materials over the last couple of years.
In bid to scale up this role of the unions, the 4th National Cooperatives Exhibition, Bazaar and Symposium officially opened on Thursday, with more than three hundred cooperative unions taking part in the event.
Speaking at the opening of the occasion, Prime Minister Hailemariam commended the cooperative unions’ significant contribution in the economic leap that the country has attained during the last few years.
The unions have an indispensable role in realizing the country’s transition from agri-led to industry-led economy, he said.
Hailemariam also stressed the importance of putting in place an effective leadership for a better success.
“Beyond stabilizing and broadening market link accesses, the cooperative unions have a huge stake in transforming the agriculture led economy to industry led economy,” the premier said.
“They supply quality and diverse raw materials for the Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks and other agro-processing industries in the country,” he said.
“To this end, we need to have effective leadership at different levels of the sector,” Hailemariam added.
Director General of the Federal Cooperatives Agency, Ousman Sirur, on his part said efforts have been made to enhance the contribution of cooperatives to national development by building their capacity.
It was also mentioned at the event that more efforts will be exerted to further boost the contribution of cooperatives toward job creation and market stability by ensuring robust linkage between farmers and the market.