The cooperative sector plays a vital role in supporting socio-economic development by enhancing the livelihoods of its members. This study assesses the capacity of co-operatives in meeting the needs of their members in Zanzibar. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, data were collected from 150 cooperative members and 30 cooperative leaders through structured questionnaires, interviews, and focus group discussions. The findings reveal that while co-operatives in Zanzibar have made significant strides in enhancing members’ economic well-being through access to credit, market linkages, and training opportunities, there are still challenges in meeting the diverse and evolving needs of their members. Factors such as inadequate financial resources, limited training and capacity-building initiatives, and ineffective governance structures were identified as key barriers. The study concludes with recommendations for strengthening the capacity of co-operatives in Zanzibar to better meet the needs of their members, including the development of tailored training programs, improved financial management, and enhanced governance structures.

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