Department of Co-operatives

Department of Co-operatives

Department of Co-operatives operates under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.  It derives its powers for the performance of its duties from the provisions of the Co-operative Societies Decree, 1968 (NLCD 252) and the Co-operative Societies Regulations (L.I. 604).
NLCD 252 was promulgated in 1968.  The law has not seen any reform since it was passed.  At the time it was passed, it served its purpose in giving the Registrar wide ranging powers of control over the activities of co-operatives because co-operative development was still at a rudimentary stage.  The co-operative movement in Ghana has since grown.  The control orientation of the law in the sixties no longer holds as trends in worldwide co-operative development favour granting autonomy and independence to co-operatives.  There is, therefore, an urgent need for a radical reform of the law.  A draft which has been updated several times has been available since the 1990sbt successive governments have not promulgated it.


DOC dreams of becoming a credible and well-resourced voice in co-operative policy implementation that ensures that co-operatives contribute significantly to national economic and social development.


Doc exists to create a conducive environment for sustainable co-operative action for employment generation, poverty reduction, community and human resource development.


Statutory Functions

  • Registration of co-operatives: any group of persons that have as their objective the promotion of their economic interest may be registered as a co-operative with limited liability. Registration is still done manually in an age of rapid advancements in information technology. Information storage and retrieval is, therefore, seriously hampered.
  • Audit, Inspection and Enquiry:  under the current law, the Registrar must audit or cause to be audited, the accounts of all registered co-operatives at least once every year.  Under the proposed reform of the law this function will be divested to private sector audit firms as well as the apex body of the co-operative movement – the Ghana Co-operatives Council.  The Inspection function is crucial to ensure compliance but is currently not being performed effectively because the staffs are few and, more importantly, lack the logistics to move around and to write their reports.  Government budgetary allocations have been dwindling.  Staff numbers have also been dwindling because of a freeze on recruitment and difficulties in replacing retiring staff.
  • Settlement of Disputes: the Registrar may resolve any dispute that touches the business of a co-operative. The Registrar may do this on his/her own or through an arbitrator. Currently, there are no difficulties with performance of this function.

Non-Statutory Functions

  • Group formation: sensitization of potential groups of people on the benefits of co-operatives and their preparation (involving nurturing for a period of time) for registration. This function is currently not being performed well because the staff lack the necessary means of mobility.
  • Attendance at meetings on invitation to offer advice on questions of law and principles of co-operation.
  • Hands-on training in proper keeping of records of operations. Here again, DOC has not been effective because it lacks the logistics to move around as often as they would have wanted to.
    • Promoting the values of group work (advocacy).
  • Education of members of co-operatives on their rights and their responsibilities as members and their roles in the success of the group enterprise.
  • Training of executives and managers of co-operatives in business management and financial appreciation. Not much of this happens at the moment because budgetary allocations are not forthcoming.


Mr. Oscar S. Braimah


Department of Co-operatives
P. O. Box M 150
Accra – Ghana

Contact Details

Phone: +233 (0) 302 666 212 | +233 (0) 302 666 213