The Registrar of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Ms Vickness Mayao has assured civil society Organizations (CSOs) of her office’s commitment to supporting the civil society sector.

Ms Mayao made the statement in Dar es Salaam during the launch of this year’s CSOs Week scheduled for 23 to 29 October, in Dodoma, themed CSOs’ contribution to the national development.

She acknowledged civil society contribution to national development and was pleased with continuous collaborations between the government and CSOs adding that her office recognizes the role of the CSOs and other development partners in bringing about development to the citizen.

The NGOs’ Registrar also affirmed the government’s commitment to collaborating with CSOs, working together to contribute to the country’s development.

“I would like to assure you that the office of the registrar will continue to foster collaboration with CSOs to facilitate the sector’s growth. Opportunities for discussions with CSO have contributed to strengthened relations between CSOs and government through the office of the registrar. Partnership through the Registrar’s office has greatly contributed to close relations between CSOs and the government”, Ms Mayao Said.

Speaking on the CSO week, she said the event was an opportunity for CSOs and other stakeholders to engage with one other for the interest of the civil society sector and development. The registrar stated that for two consecutive years since 2018 and 2019, the CSOs Week has been held in Dodoma and brought together development actors, stakeholder’s together, high-ranking government officials. She also urged CSOs to participate fully in the CSO Week 2021

In his welcoming remarks, the Executive Director of Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), Mr Francis Kiwanga, acknowledged CSOs members involved in organizing this year’s CSO WEEK included FCS, Legal Service Facility (LSF), Twaweza, Christina Blind Mission (CBM) Tanzania, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Policy Forum, Save the Children, Wajibu Institute of Public Accountability.

Others are UNA Tanzania and Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP), Malala Foundation, Haki Rasilimali, Restless Development, Tanzania Association of NGOs (TaNGO), SHIVYAWATA and the National Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (NaCoNGO).

Mr Kiwanga said although CSO Week started in 2018 as a brainchild of FCS, other CSO stakeholders played a pivotal role in its inception, adding that the event had brought together the government, lawmakers, civil society, development partners and citizens for discussions and reflections on the sector as CSOs need to form CSOs voices and unify within the sector.

Mr Kiwanga highlighted the close partnership with the government since the inception of the event in 2018 attested with the presence of the registrar of NGOs Ms Vickness Mayao and the Sector coordinator at President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RAG) Engineer Emmanuel Nyanda Enock at the launch signify the close the partnerships.

He also stated the contributing factors to the success of the CSO Week included strategic Partnerships that the CSO week is a platform that brings collective efforts in contributing towards the development agenda.

”The achievement of the CSO week is due to strategic partnerships. The development agenda is not the sole responsibility of the government alone. We cannot attain development if citizens are spectators. it’s important that citizens participate in national development and this is in line with the sustainable development goals to leave no behind” he said

Kiwanga was also pleased with the increased participation and ownership of CSOs in organizing the CSOs week. He stated that the CSO week organizing members increased from 8 partners to more than 20 CSOs partners forming the steering committee. He also noted that participation of CSOs has also increased over the years,

Several activities are scheduled to take place during the CSO week to amplify voices and facilitate the identification of areas of collaboration and linkages with state and non-state actors. They include opening and closing sessions with a high profile government official, CSO Exhibitions designed to allow greater access to the public, plenary and breakout workshops for special interest topics, award ceremony, dinner gala and various networking events.