Protecting civil society space in Africa

In July 2010,  Civil Society representatives from 13 African countries gathered in Nairobi in a strategy forum aimed at discussing the current observed trend of Governments working on developing new laws to govern the way the civil society works.  The case of Ethiopia is just one example that goes to show how laws can be used to shrink the space within which civil society operates. One of the reasons why civil society exists is to check the excesses of Governments and the Private sector. In doing this, it is no doubt that civil society will often point out the ills of Governments in issues related to Governance, democracy and human rights. It is no wonder that organizations that work in these sectors are often considered enemies of Government and in some cases they have been branded as representing the interests of the western donors that support them. What is often forgotten though is the fact that the very civil society that is often viewed as an enemy is in many ways responsible for increasing the voices and agitation that led to the independence from colonial rule as well as opening up the political space giving way to the multi- party democracy that now exists in many countries. It is therefore important to recognize the important role played by civil society organizations and it is important for Governments to uphold certain basic fundamental principles in the legal frameworks aimed at regulating the work of the civil society sector. The African Civil Society Platform on Principled Partnership ( ACPPP) is in the process of developing these principles and it is hoped that Governments can honor those fundamental principles to ensure that the civil society in Africa can continue to fulfill its mandate.  Please click link below to see  what is happening in Tunisia.

Please click on this link


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