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
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.