Governance and Accountability of Multi-Purpose Cooperatives in the Shiselweni Region of Swaziland: Implications for Education and Training

Thoko A. Masuku, Joseph P.B. Mutangira, Micah B. Masuku


Cooperatives are perceived as innovative institutions that are able to secure the participation of communities in economic development. The study examined the extent of good governance and accountability in multi-purpose cooperatives and the implications for member education and training in Swaziland. The objectives of the study were to: determine the status of governance; establish the level of accountability; and establish the status of cooperative member education and training in multi-purpose cooperatives in Swaziland. A descriptive research design was used where quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to collect and analyse the data. The target population was all registered and active multi-purpose cooperatives in the Shiselweni region. A multistage stratified sampling technique was used to draw a sample of 80 cooperative members, 35 committee members and 5 cooperative officers. Therefore the sample size was 120. Interviews and analysis of documents were used to collect data. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings of the study were that, cooperatives were governed democratically and member participation was adhered to; that the level of accountability in cooperatives was average; members were consulted before any decision was taken in the cooperatives; cooperative education and training in multi-purpose cooperatives was conducted regularly by education and training committees; cooperative officers educated and trained cooperative members once a year.  The study concluded that multi-purpose cooperatives were not well governed and there was moderate accountability. The study recommends that multi-purpose cooperatives should invest in education for their members and workers on cooperative principles. The study also recommends that other studies be carried out to cover the whole of Swaziland, by including all cooperatives.

Keywords: Accountability, education and training, governance, multi-purpose cooperatives,

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