GuideStar International's Blog

March 22, 2010

The effects of legislation on African CSOs: A look at 8 countries

Filed under: civil society legislation and regulation — guidestarinternational @ 09:19
Tags: , ,

The most recent issue of the International Journal for Not-for-Profit Law provides a very useful review of the legal structure and regulatory framework for civil society organisations in select African countries. The first report was commissioned by the ICNL with the support of USAID’s NGO Legal Enabling Environment Program (LEEP) and features Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda. The second report was commissioned by The World Movement for Democracy with the support of Canada‘s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and examines Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Rwanda. It studies what constitutes a registered CSO in each country and it also reveals the constraints civil society organisations face with foreign funding and other operational activities due to government legislation. However, the reports also highlight some positive steps taken by some governments to strengthen their relationship with civil society and enable them to improve their effectiveness. The fact that many new CSO related bills are pending and many have already become law in recent years, demonstrates that CSOs responsibility and influence in the region is being taken much more seriously.  Governments have recognised that they have an important role to play in socioeconomic development and the political process.

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