CSO Resource Centre: Over 600 CSOs receive training on compliance with laws and regulations governing NGO operations in Tanzania

Zanzibar Registrar of NGOs, Mr Ahmed Abdulla speaking in a panel discussion at Organisational compliance Clinic and Capacity strengthening workshop conducted during the Zanzibar Annual NGO Forum ( ZANGOF2023).  Nicholaus Mhozya, FCS Senior Programme Officer (right) was a panelist during the workshop.

More than 600 civil society organisations (CSOs) in 15 regions across Tanzania have received capacity-building training on compliance with laws, policies and regulations governing NGOs operations in Tanzania.

Mr Nicholaus Mhozya, FCS senior programme officer, revealed this at the organisational compliance clinic and capacity strengthening workshop conducted during the Zanzibar Annual NGO Forum (ZANGOF2023) with the Zanzibar Registrar of NGOS, Mr Ahmed Abdulla.

“We have made deliberate efforts to build the capacity of NGOs with regard to the NGO law and tax requirements. We are working with the registrar’s office to provide non-governmental organisations with training on the laws governing NGOs in collaboration with the regional office. We have been able to visit 15 regions to provide this education and more than 600 organisations have been reached,” he said.

Mr Mhozya added that FCS works in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar, providing grants to CSOs and building their capacities. He said that after a thorough assessment, FCS builds the capacities of CSOs and also strengthens their institutional capacities to do, to relate and to be so that they are strengthened and perform well.

For an institution to perform well, it must work and comply with its internal and external compliance procedures, he added.

“When you register a CSO, there are laws that automatically govern the organisation. CSOs begin with an idea, where citizens agree and build on the idea to establish a CSO. After attaining a certificate of compliance, the CSO is under the law governing its operations. Hence, compliance has to do with tax laws (PAYE), NSSF and HR manuals, among other requirements,” Mr Mhozya said.

Mr Abdulla discussed the importance of NGOs’ compliance with regulations governing CSO operations in Tanzania, saying the submission of project implementation reports helps the government assess the contribution of NGOs to development.  In 2020, 73 organisations submitted their reports and contributed TZS24 billion. In 2022, TZS49 billion came from civil organisations. In 2021, the amount was TZS17 billion.

Mr Abdulla urged CSO stakeholders to ensure that they operate within their mandate as stipulated in their constitutions as per their submissions during the registration process. He also urged CSOs to obtain permits if they wish to implement projects in Zanzibar.

The registrar commended FCSTZ’s efforts in enabling CSOs to access grants during calls for proposals, saying this has resulted in civil society organisations submitting project documents and facilitating NGOs’ access to grants and implementation of various projects.

He pledged that the government will continue to cooperate with CSOs and appreciated civil society’s contribution to development. Mr Abdulla added that the President of Zanzibar will continue to cooperate with and support civil society organisations.