Key figures

Number of cooperatives per sector


Ethiopians have a long history of working together by practicing cooperative-like institutions which we call cultural cooperatives. Traditional cooperatives associations existed in the form of iqub and idir. Iqub is an association of people having common objectives of mobilizing resources, especially finance, and distributing it to members on rotating basis. Idir is an association of people that have the objective of providing social and economic insurance for the members in the events of death, accident, damages to property, among others. In the case of a funeral, Idir serves as funeral insurance where community members elect their leaders, contribute resources either in kind or in cash and support the mourning member. There were also initiatives for labour resource mobilization that were to overcome seasonal labour peaks, known as "Jigie”, “Wonfel”, among others.

The history of formal or Modern types of cooperative development in Ethiopia started in the Era of Emperor Haile Selassie I between 1950 and 1974. The predominant societies were producers and service co-operatives. Since this time cooperative policy and law has undertaken many reforms and cooperatives have come to play a crucial role in economic and social development.


Kenya counts 3 ICA member organization. They are Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union (OCFCU) Ltd., Cooperative Bank of Oromia and the AWACH Savings and Credit Cooperatives (AWACH).

The ICA member data was completed by of one of the full member organization: AWACH

AWACH is a primary cooperative established to provide financial services to its members. Its mission is to improve socio-economic conditions of members & other people through mobilizing saving and creating access to credit & asset building using relevant technology and highly motivated staffs in consideration of social governance aspects.

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