This paper presents the role of cooperatives on the socio-economic development of Ethiopia. It is based on a national survey where 173 cooperatives and 831 cooperatives members were taken as a sample and Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) at eight different regions of the country were considered. The study was based on semi-structured questionnaire. It included a period of ten years (2001-2011). Results of the survey reveal that cooperatives have contributed a lot in the country’s economic development besides supporting their members by providing different products, services, as well as variety of benefits such as securing their food, increasing their income, improving life style and social participation, and inputs for their agriculture activities. Moreover, on the average cooperatives support nearly 15.00 to 29.68 descent jobs and spent 28,032.29 up to 122,297.7 birr as wage and salary per cooperative per year. The average contribution of cooperatives to the Ethiopian GDP for the last ten years is found to be relatively less which ranges 1.21% to 12.27%. The overall findings showed that, cooperatives have struggled to impact the socio-economic development of the country and support their members to improve their livelihood with the unpaved economy and policy of the country.
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