Apr 30, 2008, 7:34 AM
The recent warning by the NGO Affairs Agency under the auspices of Ministry of the Interior sounds relevant.
The need for non-governmental organizations in the country to register with the agency is quite important.
As required by the law, such a move would make it possible to hold the officials of NGOs accountable to the people they claim to be serving.
There is no doubt that the work of NGOs is essential in promoting the overall development of any country.
However, what we do not want to see is a situation where by an NGO (s) use funds solicited in the name of people just to enrich its officials.
We also do not want to see a situation where by an NGO's director, accountant, secretary and the programme officer are all from one family.
Such an NGO cannot claim to be accountable to nor to be representing the poor and vulnerable, whom they usually claim to be serving.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of NGOs in the country who are making a tremendous contribution to national socio economic development.
Their impact is being felt in various sectors of development be it in education, health, agriculture, rural development, human rights and democracy, just to name a few.
They are also helping the country move towards achieving the MDGs and other development aspirations.
While we acknowledge this wonderful work by the non-governmental organizations, we encourage all those interested in operating an NGO in the country to ensure that they operate within the law.
We also encourage the NGO Affairs Agency to be embarking on a nationwide tour to inspect the activities of NGOs in the country.
This will give the agency the opportunity to have first-hand knowledge about their operations in the country, as well as to familiarise themselves with the officials of the different NGOs in the country and the communities where they carry out their operations.
Its quite clear that without the complementary efforts of NGOs we would find it difficult to achieve all our national development aspirations as quickly as possible.
We, therefore, call on all those interested in registering NGOs in the country to come forward, since there is strong political will for them to exist and the enabling environment to operate. Most NGOs in the country are in fact working in line with the development agenda of the government and, therefore, should be commended.
We want to encourage them to keep up the good work being delivered to the people of this country and humanity as a whole.