Dar es Salaam, August 18, 2022. The Government recognises the contribution of civil society organisations (CSOs) to people’s development through district councils as stated by the people themselves during visits by government officials.
Mr Linus Kahendabuza, the representative from the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) – in the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Coordination Department, made the remarks in Dar es Salaam during the launch of CSO Week 2022, which will be held in Arusha from October 24 to October 28, 2022. He said there is close collaboration between the Government and CSOs.
“I am not the Government’s spokesperson, but I think I need to say that CSOs’ great contribution to development, our councils and society, in general, is recognised and appreciated.”
PO-RALG is responsible for issuing permits to stakeholders’ development initiatives at both the regional and local government levels.
Linking the CSO Week 2022 theme – People’s Development, People’s Stories – with CSO’s contribution to development, Mr Kahendabuza said during visits to communities at the council level, numerous people have shared their development stories and how CSOs have contributed to improving their lives. He stated people’s appreciation of CSOs through their stories expressed in almost every region visited.
“Wherever we go, we are often told that, ‘Without a certain NGO, I wouldn’t have the business that I’m doing now; a certain organisation arrived and provided us with capacity building training, which has helped to increase our incomes. NGOs’ support has helped my family advance further. Another citizen might tell us, ‘Without a certain organisation, it would have been impossible for my child to study. The NGO has helped to pay school fees for several children.”
‘’Many activities in various regions have been carried out by NGOs. People who don’t go to villages often might not see these interventions and their positive impact on people’s lives. Many NGOs are doing a commendable job as far as community development is concerned, and we are expressing the Government’s appreciation.”
Mr Kahendabuza concluded his remarks by saying that he hopes that through media coverage, NGO interventions will showcase NGOs’ success stories.
“There are various projects, some successful and some not very successful. I hope the media can help to a great extent in showing how project interventions have been successful.”
In his closing remarks, the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) Executive Director and the lead CSO Week Organising Committee member, Mr Francis Kiwanga, said CSO Week is an independent platform for civil society and development actors to learn and share experiences, adding that it also enables CSOs to celebrate their success in reaching communities and the people right from the grassroots. Also, it is a platform on which to engage with the Government on issues related to the civil society sector in general.
Mr Kiwanga urged civil society actors to attend CSO Week.
“CSO Week is for civil society. I appeal to NGOs, associations, trade unions and religious institutions to attend CSO Week. We will also make deliberate efforts to reach as many actors in the civil society sector as possible to have wider representation.”
He asked development actors to submit the topics they have proposed for discussion during CSO Week to the CSO Week Coordinator, Mr Justice Rutenge.