Sub-Saharan Africa Program
Left to right: Emerson Sykes, ICNL; Commissioner Reine Alapini Gansou, ACHPR; interpreter; interpreter; Julian Pepe Onziema, SMUG; Djidjoho Hermann Nounawon Kekere, Ministry of Justice, Benin
ICNL believes that civil society law reform must be designed and led by local actors. We have had the privilege of working with civil society leaders, government officials, lawyers, academics, and other stakeholders in more than twenty countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We seek to empower local partners by providing comparative information, international legal expertise, and technical assistance on the legal framework for civil society.
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- The ICNL co-hosted an Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Civil Society Law at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria School of Law on Jun 8-10, 2016. More information is available here: http://www1.chr.up.ac.za/index.php/ahrc-courses/civil-society-law.html.
- The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) launched the Report on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa (also available in French) during its 56th Ordinary Session in April 2015.
Current and Past Programming
- ICNL co-organized an African regional workshop with CIVICUS, the Community of Democracies, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association on “Protecting Civic Space” on November 17-18, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. Read the Workshop Report here.
- ICNL has provided technical assistance to partners across Africa in civil society and/or government, including:
- Nigeria: ICNL has supported civil society partners’ efforts in the face of multiple legal challenges including the proposed Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Bill, the NGO Regulatory Agency Bill, and the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act.
- Kenya: ICNL provided extensive assistance to civil society, government officials and Members of Parliament working on the Public Benefit Organisations (PBO) Act and subsequent attempts to amend the Act.
- South Sudan: ICNL has supported Ethiopian CSOs and their lawyers in developing strategies to cope with the highly restrictive Proclamation on Charities and Societies.
- Ethiopia: ICNL has supported Ethiopian CSOs and their lawyers in developing strategies to cope with the highly restrictive Proclamation on Charities and Societies.
- Rwanda: ICNL assisted civil society and the government to develop legislation governing national NGOs, international NGOs, and religious organizations, as well as a Code of Ethics for civil servants. ICNL continues to engage with CSOs and relevant government agencies to ensure that the implementation of the NGO laws is enabling of civil society.
- ICNL has provided comments on legislation governing civil society in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe among others.
- ICNL has conducted or supported in-depth assessments of the legal framework for civil society in several countries in Africa, including Burkina Faso, Mauritius, Senegal, Somaliland and Puntland, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
- ICNL has hosted research fellows under the Legal Enabling Environment Program (LEEP) from Burundi (2014), Zambia (2013), South Sudan (2013), Malawi (2012), Kenya (2009), Rwanda (2008) and Uganda (2008). ICNL has also supported seven peer-to-peer fellowships among African CSO.
For additional information or to request assistance, please contact Emerson Sykes, Legal Advisor - Africa, at firstname.lastname@example.org.