By Roy Hezron
Majority of members in deposit-taking Saccos in the country are between the ages of 36 and 50 years.
They account for 28.8 per cent, or 1,380,784 members, according to a survey by Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA).
Of these, 833,512 are men, 514,752 are women while 32,520 are of undisclosed gender.
The Sacco Subsector Demographic Study Report 2019 sought to find out the age and gender composition of the members of DT-Saccos.
It found out that men constitute 58.35 per cent of the total membership (2,899,865) while women are 32.93 per cent or 1,636,501 members.
Some 4.93 per cent (244,846) were natural persons with undisclosed gender while 3.8 per cent (188,957) were corporate and institutional members.
“This shows that the male gender greatly dominates the membership of DT-SACCOs, and is not consistent with the national population demographics in which the female gender has been reported to slightly more than the male gender. The imbalance may be attributed to the probable dominance by the male gender in key socio-economic activities, from which SACCOs traditionally draw their membership such as agricultural production notably dairy, tea, coffee production among others or formal employment opportunities,” said Sasra CEO John Mwaka.
The analysis shows that members within the 25 and 35 years age bracket constituted the second highest proportion of the membership, accounting for 23.46 per cent of membership.
According to the study, people above the age of 65 years were the fewest, accounting for about 5.51 per cent (263,435 members).
Young people between 18 and 35 years account for 30.86 per cent of membership, while those within the age bracket of 18 and 24 years form 7.4 per cent of total membership.
Although 17.12 per cent (818,642 members) did not disclose their age, it is clear from the analysis that 59.74 per cent of DT-SACCO members are under 50 years of age.
“This debunks the common claim that SACCOs are largely composed of old people,” reads the report.
The study, which targeted the total count of the membership in the 174 DT-SACCOs duly licensed to operate deposit-taking business in Kenya in 2018, was designed as a census to physically obtain from each DT-SACCO the members register and the members’ shares listing.
The Authority issued a circular to the 174 DT-SACCOs requiring them to prepare and submit their members’ registers, shares listing, deposit listing and loan listing for the period ending December 2018.
“Subsequent to the circular, the Authority’s officers visited the DT-SACCOs head offices to physically extract and collect the said registers and listing from the Management Information Systems (MIS) of the DT-SACCOs, and to verify that the data and information were substantially in the format that was required. A total of 152 DT-SACCOs, constituting 87 per cent of all the DT-SACCOs, were either physically visited for the collection of the said data and information or had their data and emailed directly to the Authority,” confirms the report.
During the data collection, 22 DT-SACCOs, constituting 13 per cent, did not submit the data and information.
“In terms of the geographical representativeness of the population of DT-SACCOs included in the study, it is noteworthy that out of 47 geographical counties to which Kenya is demarcated, only 40 counties have the presence of one or more registered DT-SACCOs,” add the report.