African Countries Leaning towards Anti-NGO Measures

In a dozen countries across Africa, governments have enacted laws or policies that “improperly constrain” nongovernmental organizations and imperil civil society, the democracy watchdog Freedom House says in a new report. “Freedoms Under Threat: The Spread of Anti-NGO Measures in Africa” looks at efforts since 2004 to restrict civil society, especially groups working on human rights and governance issues. Curbs on NGOs have “a serious impact on the capacity of organized civil society, and citizens, to hold governments to account and to protect human rights,” said Godfrey M. Musila, author of the report. . He added that governmental limits “are of course accompanied by other measures to restrict other kinds of freedoms” and to bolster control by the state or strongmen. Measures such as complicating registration or limiting foreign workers and financial aid have been implemented in a dozen countries: Algeria, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. ‚ÄčThe report says anti-NGO measures are pending or possible in Egypt, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan and Zambia.


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