Co-operators in Jordan look at changes to national sector legislation

Proposals include the inclusion of non-Jordanians in co-ops, strengthening the representation of co-ops and enhancing the integration of women and youth

A recent event by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Jordan Cooperative Corporation (JCC) looked at amendments to Jordan’s co-operative legislation. 

The ILO and JCC gathered with a range of stakeholders, including key ministries and social partners, for the technical workshop at the Dead Sea over 27-28 January.

Attendees discussed the improvement of regulatory, developmental and representational functions of Jordan’s co-ops. 

Legislative changes discussed included enabling the inclusion of non-Jordanians in co-ops, strengthening the representation of co-operatives and enhancing the integration of women and youth in co-ops.

The ILO and JCC hope the proposed changes will lead to revised legislation in Jordan, “paving the way for an autonomous, inclusive and self-reliant co-operative movement” in the country. 

The workshop was supported by the Prospects partnership, which aims to improve the prospects for forcibly displaced persons and their host communities. 

“We are delighted to be continuing the discussion concerning the laws regulating the co-operative movement in Jordan with the ministries, the JCC and our partners in the country and across the region,” said ILO Prospects regional chief technical adviser Shaza Al Jondi. 

“We believe that a balanced society necessitates the existence of strong public and private sectors, as well as a strong and well-regulated co-operative movement to contribute to a robust socio-economic development. Co-operatives have a proven record of creating and sustaining employment globally in traditional and emerging sectors. Through the proposed amendments, we hope to further advance livelihoods opportunities for Jordanians, refugees, and migrant women and men.”

The work of the session held in January follows on from the development of Jordan’s national strategy for its co-operative movement, launched in 2021 with support via the Prospects programme. 

Developing a conducive environment for co-operatives is one of the three objectives of the five-year strategy, along with effective service infrastructure and autonomous and self-reliant co-ops.

Jordan’s minister of agriculture Khalid Al- Hanifat said discussions at the event were “consistent with the country’s economic modernisation vision, the ongoing public sector development, and the national sustainability plan for the agricultural sector.”

He also described an “urgent need” to develop Jordan’s co-op movement, through reorganization activities and the creation of a fund to provide co-operatives with financing for their operations.

Abdel Fattah Al-Shalabi, chair of the JCC, said: “The modernisation of the co-operative work will reflect on general growth indicators as well as on the country’s families. 

“The effects of the development of the co-operative movement will be especially felt in rural areas across all Jordan’s governorates, creating direct and indirect job opportunities. Co-operatives represent a crucial pillar for the achievement of food security in the country through the local agri-food industry, products manufacturing and logistics services.”