NGO Policy ready in November
Malawi will have an NGO Policy by end of November; the time a team tasked to oversee its formulation has committed to complete the exercise.
Speaking in Blantyre during a press briefing on issues and recommendation paper on the process of formulating the same, non-governmental organisation (NGO) Board Chair, Abigail Dzimadzi said her board and crucial stakeholders have embarked on a consultative process that seeks to identify the issues that would be tailored in the policy.
“We will conclude the process of coming up with the policy and indeed have the draft policy by 31 May. We realise formulation of this policy is long overdue and we also realise the importance of the same,” she said.
Highlighting the process of the policy formulation, Local Government Principal Secretary Stewart Ligomeka said despite parliament enacting the NGO Act in 2001, there have been gaps in the implementation of the law.
“Although the NGO board is the regulator of the NGO sector, it has no guidance in law and policy in terms of the absence of NGO policy and apparent weakness in the NGO Act,” said Ligomeka, representing the chair of the steering committee mandated to oversee the process of coming up with the Enabling Policy and Legal Environment for NGO Operations in Malawi.
According to both Dzimadzi and Ligomeka, the Issues and Recommendations Paper that was endorsed Saturday by the committee, would act as a guideline in the process of thorough consultations that have been kick-started.
In pursuit of harmonious, transparent and accountable relations within the NGO sector and between the NGO sector and the state, said Dzimadzi, the NGO board embarked on a consultative process that sought to identify the issues that spoilt relations and assemble ideas from the stakeholders on how best the issues could be addressed.
The NGO board led by the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare commenced the process of developing the NGO policy, which would at a later stage initiate the review of the NGO Act to be in tandem with the reality on the ground, according to Voice Mhone, CEO/Registrar for NGO board.
“NGO board takes the view that some of the issues can be addressed through a clear, coherent regulatory policy framework while others can be addressed through changes to the legal framework for NGOs in Malawi,” said Mhone.
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