Legal framework

Legal framework
Legal framework


The legal framework analysis aims to provide general knowledge of the national cooperative legislation and of its main characteristics and contents, with particular regard to those aspects of regulation regarding the identity of cooperatives and its distinction from other types of business organisations, notably the for-profit shareholder corporation.

It aims to evaluate whether the national legislation in place supports or hampers the development of cooperatives, and is therefore “cooperative friendly” or not, and the degree to which it may be considered so, also in comparison to the legislation in force in other countries of the ICA region, or at the supranational level.

In addition, the research aims to provide recommendations for eventual renewal of the legal frameworks in place in order to understand what changes in the current legislation would be necessary to improve its degree of “cooperative friendliness”, which is to say, to make the legislation more favourable to cooperatives, also in consideration of their specific identity. This webpage presents a snapshot of the legal framework analysis results for Egypt. The national report is currently available in French.



Egyptian cooperatives, provided for in the Constitution, are mainly governed by Law No. 317 of 1956 on cooperative associations in Egypt. This law is supplemented by other specific laws, including:

Law 267 of 1960 for public cooperation institutions

Law 109 of 1975 for consumer cooperatives

Law 122 of 1980 for agricultural cooperative societies

Law 14 of 1980 on the housing cooperation code

Law 1 of 1990 on educational cooperatives.

The Cooperative Associations Act No. 317 of 1956 clearly defines a cooperative and makes express reference to certain universal cooperative principles such as democratic power exercised by members (one member one vote).


Cooperative friendliness


The multiplicity of legal texts, involving a plurality of legal regimes for cooperatives, constitutes a real obstacle to the proper development of the cooperative movement in Egypt.


Key recommendations for improvement


The main recommendation is the unification of cooperative legislations. This unification would result in the drafting of a single law that would constitute the common law for cooperatives, with a general legal regime applying to all cooperatives (agricultural, consumer, productive, etc.)




The unification of the law would then be supplemented by specific texts applying to each type or form of cooperative according to the sector in which it operates. Other specificities could be governed by the statutes and internal regulations of each cooperative, again according to its field of activity.


The legal frameworks analysis is a tool developed under the ICA-EU Partnership #coops4dev. It is an overview of the national legal frameworks at the time of writing. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the ICA, nor does a reference to any specific content constitute an explicit endorsement or recommendation by the ICA. 




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