Key figures

Key figures

Research overview


Responding to challenges and existing knowledge gaps facing the cooperative movement, this mapping research seeks to provide exhaustive information on cooperatives worldwide. This is achieved through a process jointly conducted by the ICA and its four regional offices – Cooperatives of the Americas, Cooperatives Europe, ICA Africa, and ICA Asia-Pacific – using a common methodology. Each office collected the input of ICA members present in the countries within its geographic area, by using the same questionnaire, and completing it with relevant national statistics, in order to obtain an accurate picture of the national situation. Mapping out cooperatives in each country provides a more precise picture of the cooperative context at national and regional levels, enhances the movement's visibility, networking, partnerships opportunities, as well as advocacy, and empowers cooperators by providing them tools for positive change.

This webpage presents a snapshot of the key figures research results for Tanzania. For more information and the full research results, you can download the full report and highlights using the links above.




The United Republic of Tanzania is a Union of two independent countries of Tanganyika (Mainland) and Zanzibar. It has two different cooperative legal frameworks and cooperative movements, and therefore will be so considered in this study. 




The data below was gathered through compiling the replies of a secondary cooperative; Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives (TFC), registered in 1994. It is a national cooperative umbrella organization that promotes, serves and coordinates the development and prosperity of all cooperative societies in mainland Tanzania.

According to the 2019 Tanzania Cooperative Development Commission (TCDC) statistics, the total number of registered cooperatives in Mainland Tanzania is 11,629. In 2008, Zanzibar Tanzania had 4,751 registered cooperatives

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 Tanzania.



The following Laws are the main laws governing cooperatives in Tanzania:


  • The Cooperative Societies Act, 2013 (Cap 112)
  • The Coopertive Societies Regulations, 2015 (GN. No. 272 of 2015)
  • The Cooperative Audit and Supervision Act No. 15 of 1982
  • Microfinance Act, No. 10 of 2018
  • Microfinance (SACCOs) Regulations, 2019 (GN. No. 675 of 2019)
  • The Cooperative Societies Act, No 15 of 2018 (Zanzibar)
  • Zanzibar Cooperative Societies Regulations, 2019 LN No. 171 of 2019
  • Zanzibar SACCOs Regulation, 2019 LN No. 172 of 2019


Cooperative friendliness


From the view of ICA contributing member organizations, both the Mainland and Zanzibar Acts create a legal environment that may not be conducive enough to encourage sustainable cooperative development. Instead of encouraging cooperatives to take lead in the establishment, regulation and promotion of cooperatives,  the laws give respective governments powers to over-regulate cooperatives, but at varying degrees. Some of the 'unfriendly' provisions are listed in the report.


Key recommendations for improvement


The amended legislation should aim at phasing out the external control, particularly by the government while phasing in the cooperative movement.




The cooperative legal frameworks of the United Republic of Tanzania have produced cooperatives which may be referred as pseudo-public or quasi-governmental organizations, not as private sector organizations which should be operated according to the internationally recognized values and principles.

Under these circumstances, a proper reform in the cooperative legal frameworks would involve not only amending the cooperative laws to recognize and translate the said values and principles into action, but also inciting the understanding of the relevant enablers within and outside government circles to change their stance towards cooperative development.


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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