Socio-Economic Contributions of Cooperatives in CAR

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In our previous issue, we shared about the triple roles of cooperatives as championed by the International Labor Organization that include social (protection), economic and political (empowerment) roles. Social roles being performed by cooperatives include health services, mutual benefit assistance, education, housing and community development services. Under economic roles, cooperatives extend productive loans supportive of various livelihood activities at the same time create employment for the members, family members and community residents where the cooperative business is located.

In this issue, we shall feature some figures based on the consolidated data of about 500 registered cooperatives in CAR that submitted statutory reports to the CDA for the Calendar Year 2014.The said cooperatives had a combined total asset of about P10.5 billion and with Gross Revenue of about P 1.31 billion.

In terms of employment, about 2,693 individuals were employed by cooperatives as regular personnel that received about P 165.3 million as payment of salaries and wages. Such amount excludes P 50 million that were released to officers as honorarium/per diem.

Another socio-economic contribution of cooperatives is on remitted or paid taxes. About P 5.89 million had been remitted by these cooperatives to the National and local branches of the government. CDA on its part generated about P 800,000.00 derived from registration and amendment fees, payment of Certificate of Good Standing, fines and penalties for late reports, and certification fees of cooperative records and documents.

Moreover, about P 51.5 million was allocated by cooperatives that formed part of their community development fund that were used directly in their respective areas of operation.

In the course of cooperative operation, the volume of business generated last year was about P 8.77 billion.

In addition, cooperative in CAR generated a total net surplus of about P 582.47million. Of this amount, members received about P281.56 million as interest on share capital and P 160.19 million as patronage refund. Such benefits were given in cash to members or were returned to their respective cooperatives as deposits, additional capital or as payment of maturing obligations.

As a development worker, the figures presented above serve as proofs of the significant contributions of cooperatives to the community. It may be viewed by some people as a trifling amount compared to big corporations’ corporate social responsibility but the unique features of cooperatives composed of people with small means matters most.

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