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 Mozambique.



Cooperatives in Mozambique use the New General Law of Cooperatives number 23/2009 (Law no. 23) as the national cooperative legislation. Law no. 23 provides for cooperatives to be linked to organized systems in union, federations and confederations, in order to reinforce the importance and contribution of a strict system of supervision and regulation for the good governance and security of the whole sector. The seven ICA cooperative principles are duly recognized and incorporated in Law no. 23.

However, it must be noted that the cooperative movement in Mozambique still awaits the approval of legal instruments and regulations by the government to operationalize Law no. 23.


Cooperative friendliness

From the view of ICA contributing member organizations, Law no. 23 is to a high degree 'cooperative friendly' as embodied in Article 6 of Law no. 23. However, the lack of a specific tax regime applicable to cooperatives is a great constraint and hampers the development and growth of cooperatives in Mozambique.

The seven cooperative principles promulgated by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in its Statement on the Cooperative Identity are duly recognized and incorporated in Law no. 23.


Key recommendations for improvement

  • The approval of legal instruments and regulations for the full operation of cooperatives.
  • Create a tax regime for the cooperative sector as a way of encouraging the establishment of more cooperatives and contributing to the economic and social development of the cooperatives in the country.



For cooperatives to perform more effectively and productively, there is an urgent need for the government to approve regulations to implement Law no. 23.


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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