THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ACT, 2002
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
Short title and commencement.
ADMINISTRATION AND COORDINATION OF NoN-GOVERNMENTAL
Director for Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination.
Functions and duties of the Director.
The register of NGO’s.
Establishment of the Board.
Functions of the Board. Sources of fund of the Board.
9. Annual estimates.
10. Books of accounts.
PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL
11. Requirement to register.
12. Application for registration-
13. Application to be referred to the Board.
14. Refusal of registration.
16. Review by the Board or appeal to the Minister.
17. Certificate of registration.
18. Effect of registration.
20. Suspension or cancellation of Certificate.
21. Procedure for suspension or cancellation.
2 No. 24
LEVELS OF REGISTRATION
22. Appointment of Public Officers.
23. Registration of NGO,s.
24. Board may require proof of existence.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND SELF REGULATION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL
25. Establishment of the Council.
26. Annual meeting of the Council.
27. Code of Conduct.
28. Duties of the Board regarding code of conduct.
29. Activities and financial reports. 30. Governing documents.
31. General conduct.
32. Fund raising activities.
33. Notification of change of particulars of Non-Governmental
34. Inspection of documents.
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
35. Offences and penalties.
36. Liability of office bearers of NGO.
37. Publication of Non-Governmental Organizations.
38. Power of Minister to make regulations.
THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
No. 24 OF 2002
An Act to provide for registration of Non-Governmental Organizations
with a view to coordinate and regulate activities of Non-Governmental
Organizations and to provide for related matters.[……………….]
ENACTED by the Parliament of the United Republic of Tanzania.
1. This Act may be cited as the Non-Governmental Organizations
Act, 2002 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister
may, by notice published in the Gazette, appoint.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
”Board” means the Board established under section 6;
”certificate” means the certificate of registration or a certificate of com-
pliance issued under this Act;
”Council” means a National Council for Non Governmental Organiza-
tions established under section 25;
14th December, 2002
”Director” means a Director for Non-Governmental organizations Co-
ordination appointed under Section 3(l);
”International Non Governmental Organization”
means a Non-Govern-
mental Organization established outside
”National Non-Governmental Organization”
means a Non Governmen-
tal Organization established in accordance with the Provisions of this
Act and whose scope of Operation extends to more than two regions;
”Non Governmental Organization” also known in its acronym “NGO”
means a voluntary grouping of individuals or organization which is
autonomous, non-partisan, non profit making which is Organized
locally at the grassroot, national or international levels for the pur-
pose of enhancing or Promoting economic, environmental, social or cultural development or Protecting environment, lobbying or advo-
cating on issues of public interest of a group of individuals or organi-
zation, and includes a Non-Governmental Organization, established
under the auspices of a any religious Organization or faith Propagat-
ing organization’ trade union, sports club, Political party, or commu_
nity based Organization; but does not include a trade, union, a social
club or a sports club, a political Party, a religious Organization or a
community based organization;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Non Governmental
”public interest” includes all forms of activities aimed at providing for
and improving the standard of living or eradication of poverty of a
given group of people or the public at large;
“register means the register of Non Governmental Organizations;
”public officer” means a Public Officer appointed Pursuant to the provi-
sions of section 22(l).
ADMINISTRATION AND COORDINATION OF NON GOVERNMENTAL
3.-(1) There shall be appointed by the President a public officer to Director
be the Director for Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination.
(2) The Director for Non Governmental Organizations Coordination Organiza-
shall be the Registrar Of Non Governmental Organizations and a link tions
between the Government and Non Government Organizations.
4.-(1) Functions and duties of the Director shall include-
(a) to advise on policy and other matters regarding Non Govern-
(b) to ensure proper implementation of this Act;
(c) to ensure that operations of Non Governmental Organizations
are available for the Government and the public for consumption;
(d) to encourage co-operation with sector Ministries in matters
relating to Non Governmental Organizations;
(e) to register Non Governmental Organizations;
(f) to keep and maintain register of Non Governmental Organizations;
(g) to keep records and reports regarding Non Governmental
(h) to appoint public officers under this Act;
(i) to perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Board.
(2) The Director shall be the Secretary to the Board.
5.-(1) There shall be a register of Non-Government Organizations,
wherein shall be entered all matters relating to Non Governmental
Organizations provided for by this Act.
(2) Each Non Governmental Organization shall be identified by a
certificate of Registration issued to it by the Registrar.
6. -(1) There shall be established a Board to be known as the Non
Governmental Organizations Coordination Board.
(2) The provision of the Schedule to this Act shall have effect as to
the composition, tenure of office, proceedings at meetings of the Board and other matters relating to the Board.
6 No. 24
7. -(1) The functions of the Board shall Include-
(a) to approve and coordinate registration Of Non-Governmental
(b) to facilitate the implementation of the national Non Govern-
mental Organizations policy;
(c) to facilitate and co-ordinate activities of Non-Governmental
(d) to approve application for registration or certificate of compliance;
(e) to direct suspension or cancellation of any Non Governmental
(f) to examine the annual reports of Non Governmental organiza- tions;
(g) to advise the Government on the activities Of Non Govern-
(h) to review the register of Non Governmental Organisations.
(i) to Provide Policy guidelines to Non Governmental Organiza-
tions for harmonizing their activities in the light of the na-
tional development plan;
(j) to receive, discuss and approve regular reports of the Council
and advice on strategies for efficient planning and co-ordina-
tion of activities of Non Governmental Organizations;
(k) to facilitate information sharing and Providing guidelines for
letwOrking between Non-Governmental organizations and the
(1) to investigate and to inquire into any matter in order to ensure
adherence with the constitution of each Of such Non Govern-
(m) to Perform such Other functions as may be directed by the
(2) The Board shall, for the purpose of efficient
Performance of its
(a) appoint any number of officers as may be required;
(b) delegate to the Director the exercise of the Powers or the per-
formance of any of its functions.
(3) In performing its functions under this Act, the Board shall main-
tain as far as practicable, a system of consultation, coordination and
cooperation with Ministries, Government institutions or any other pub-
lic or private bodies established under any written law, having functions
similar to those which are performed by any given Non Governmental
8. -(1) The funds of the Board shall consist of-
(a) any sums as may be appropriate by the Parliament;
(b) funds or assets which may vest in or accrue to the Board from
other sources by way of fees, grants or in any other way;
(c) any sums which the Board may borrow for its own purpose,
(2) The Board may-
(a) invest any of its funds in securities in which the trustees may,
by law deal in any trust fund or in any other securities, which
the Board may determine; and
(b) deposit with a bank any money not immediately required for
the use by the Board.
9. -(1) The Board shall, before the commencement of a financial
year, cause to be prepared, estimates of the revenue and expenditure for
(2) The annual estimates shall make provision for all estimated
expenditure of the Board for a financial year concerned, and the Board
shall in particular, approve recurrent and development expenditure.
(3) The annual estimates shall be submitted to the Minister who shall
cause them to be laid before the National Assembly within three months
from the date of their submission to him.
(4) No expenditure shall be incurred for the purpose of the Board
except in accordance with the annual estimates.
10. -(1) The Board shall keep proper books of accounts.
(2) Within three months from the end of each financial year, the Board
shall submit to the Controller and Auditor General accounts of the Board
(a) a statement of financial activities and income and expenditure
during that financial year, and
(b) a statement of assets and liabilities of the Board existing at the
end of such financial year.
(3) The accounts of the Board shall be audited by the Controller and
PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION OF NON GOVERNMENTAL- ORGANIZATIONS
11.- (1) Each Non Governmental Organization shall be required to
register with the Registrar pursuant to the Provisions of this Act.
(2) Without Prejudice to the Provisions of subsection (1), a Non Gov-
may, where its status requires registration to be
made under any other written law, apply for registration under such other
(3) A Non Governmental Organization which is registered or estab-
lished under any other written law shall apply to the Registrar for a
certificate Of compliance.
(4) A certificate Of compliance shall be issued upon satisfaction by
each of such Non Governmental Organization of the terms and condi-
tions for registration under this Act and shall have similar effect as a
certificate Of registration issued under this Act.
(5) No fee shall be charged and payable for an application for a cer-
tificate Of compliance.
12.- (1) A group of persons who wish to apply for registration of a
Non Governmental Organization shall make application in the prescribed
form to the Registrar.
Non- Governmental Organizations
(2) An application for registration shall be submitted by one or more
persons, being founder members, which shall be accompanied by:
(a) a copy of the constitution of the Non Governmental Organization;
(b) minutes containing full names and signature of founder members;
(c) personal particulars of office bearer;
(d) address and physical location of the head office of the Non
(e) an application fee; and
(f) any other particulars or information as may be required by the
13. -(1) The Registrar shall within one month after receiving an
application refer the application together with his recommendations to
the Board for consideration.
tion to be
(2) The Board shall within a period of two months after receiving the
application and recommendations consider and make determination of
(3) The Board may, in determining the matter-
(a) approve and direct the Registrar to register the Non Governmental
(b) refuse to approve the application and direct the Registrar to
inform the applicant or applicants accordingly.
14. -(1) The Board may refuse to approve application for registration
of a Non Governmental Organization if it is satisfied that-
(a) the activities of a Non Governmental Organizations are not for
public interest or are contrary to any written law; or
(b) the application has given false or misleading information in
any material particular; or
(c) on the recommendation of the Council, the Non Governmental
Organization should not be registered.
(2) Where the Board has refused registration of a Non Governmental
Organization, it shall, within twenty one days, notify the applicant of
the reasons for the refusal.
15. Any applicant who is not satisfied with the decision of the Board Appeal
may appeal to the Minister.
16.-(1) Where the applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the
Board he may apply to the Board for review of its earlier decision.
(2) Where the applicant does not wish to apply to the Board for re-
view, he may appeal to the Minister against the decision of the Board.
(3) On receipt of the appeal, the Minister shall, within two months
from the date of receiving the appeal consider and make determination
of the appeal.
(4) In determining the appeal the Minister may-(a) uphold, quash or vary the decision of the Board;
(b) require the Board to revise or review its decision;
(c) require the Board to inquire into specific information from the
appellant and make further consideration of the application.
17.-(1) The Registrar shall upon registration of a Non Governmental
Organization issue a certificate of registration.
(2) The Certificate of registration shall contain-
(a) the name and address of the Non Governmental Organization;
(b) the area of operation of the Non Governmental Organization;
(c) such terms and conditions in respect of which a certificate is
18. A certificate Of registration shall be a conclusive evidence of the
authority to operate as specified in the constitution or in the certificate
19. Where the Board has approved the registration of a Non Govern-
mental Organization whose employees are not citizens of the United
Republic it shall make recommendation to the Civil Service Department
which shall further forward its opinion to Director of Immigration
Services for the issuance of working permit in accordance with the
provisions of the Immigration Act, 1995.
No. 24 11
20. -(1) Subject to Section 21, the Board may suspend or cancel a
certificate of registration if it is satisfied that-
(a) the terms or conditions prescribed in the certificate have been violated,
(b) the Non Governmental Organization has ceased to exist;
(c) the Non Governmental Organization operates in variance to its
(d) the Council has submitted, to the satisfaction of the Board,
recommendation for its suspension or cancellation.
(2) Where the Certificate of registration has been suspended or
cancelled the Board shall direct the Registrar.
(a) to notify the relevant Non Governmental Organization; or
(b) to order such Non Governmental Organization to stop its
(c) to remove the name of such Non Governmental Organization
from the register.
21. -(1) Where the holder of a certificate is in default of the terms
and conditions in respect of which a certificate was issued or is in viola-
tion of section 20, the Registrar may serve on the holder a default notice
in writing specifying the nature of the default.
(2) Upon receipt of the default notice, the holder shall make repre-
sentation in writing to the Registrar regarding remedy or rectification of
(3) Where the holder has failed to remedy or rectify the default within
time specified in the default notice or has not made a representation satisfactory to the Registrar, the Registrar shall submit to the Board
recommendation for suspension or cancellation of a certificate.
(4) If the Board is satisfied that a holder of a certificate is in default as
provided for in subsection (1), it shall direct the Registrar to suspend or
cancel the certificate.
(5) A holder whose certificate has been suspended or cancelled may
apply to the Board for review of the decision to suspend or cancel the
certificate if he is dissatisfied by the reasons for such suspension or
(6) A holder of a certificate who is dissatisfied by the decision of the
Board to suspend or cancel a certificate may appeal to the Minister.
LEVELS OF REGISTRATION
22.-(1) The Registrar shall, for the purpose of facilitating registra-
tion at the regional and district levels, appoint for each region or each
district, a public officer from amongst public officers within the region
(2) Subject to subsection (3) of section 23, a public officer appointed
under subsection (1) shall on behalf of the Registrar-
(a) register Non Governmental Organizations within the region or
district for which he is appointed; and
(b) issue certificates of registration or, as the case may be, certifi-
cates of compliance.
23.-(1) Where a Non Governmental Organization is intended to
Operate within a certain district the application for its registration shall
only be submitted to the public officer for that district.
(2) Where a Non Governmental Organizations is intended to operate
in the whole region the application for its registration shall be submitted
to the public officer appointed for the region.
(3) A Non Governmental Organization whose scope of operation covers
more than One region and an International Non Governmental Organization
shall be registrable at the national level by the Registrar.
(4) Where the public officer has registered a Non Governmental
Organization, he shall make a report to that effect and submit it to the
(5) The Minister shall by regulations prescribe the procedure to be
applied by public officers in the registration of Non Governmental
24. -(1) Where the Board has reason to suspect that 9 Non Govern-
mental Organization has ceased to exist, it may issue a notice in writing
to the office bearers of that Non Governmental Organization or publish
a notice in a newspaper widely circulating in Mainland Tanzania, requiring
it to submit to the Board within a period of thirty days, proof of its
(2) Where the Non Governmental Organization fails to submit to the
Board Proof of its existence, the Board may direct the Registrar to cancel
the certificate Of its registration and remove its name from the register.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND SELF REGULATION OF NON GOVERNMENTAL
25.- (1) There shall be established an umbrella organization for Non
Governmental Organizations to be known as the National Council for
Non Governmental Organizations.
(2) The Council shall be a collective forum of Non Governmental
Organizations for the Purposes of co-ordination and networking of all
Non Governmental Organizations operating in Mainland Tanzania.
(3) The Council shall be composed of thirty members as may be
appointed by Non Governmental Organizations to represent their
(4) No person, body of persons or a Non Governmental Organization
shall, after the establishment of the Council, perform or claim to per-
form anything which the Council is empowered or required to do under
26. -(l) The Council shall convene annually for the purpose of coor-
dination and networking of all Non Governmental Organizations.
(2) The Council shall at its first annual meeting appoint the office
bearers and Promulgate rules of procedure for efficient administration
and coordination of the activities of Non Governmental Organizations.
14 No. 24
(3) The office bearers of the Council Shall hold office for a period of three
years, and may be eligible for reappointment for only another one term.
27. -(1) The Council shall develop and cause to be adopted a code of Code of
conduct and such other regulations which shall facilitate self-regulation conduct
of Non Governmental Organizations.
(2) The code of conduct shall be adopted by a resolution at an annual
Meeting of the Council.
28. -(1) The Board shall have the duty to ensure that the code of
conduct, regulations and rules developed by the Council are consistent
with the national Policy for Non Governmental Organizations and the
laws of the land.
(2) The Board shall cause the code of conduct and regulations or
rules developed by the Council to be published in the Gazette.
29- (1) Each Non Governmental Organization shall for every Activities
(a) Prepare a report of its activities which shall be made available
to the Public, the Council, the Board and other stake holders;
(b) Prepare an annual audited report and submit copies thereof to
the Council and the Board.
30. -(1) The constitution and other documents submitted by founder Governing
members to the Registrar at the time of making application for registration documents
or any subsequent consistitution and documents submitted to the Registrar
shall be the governing documents in respect of such Non Governmental
(2) No Non Governmental Organization shall operate or perform its
functions contrary to its governing documents.
31. Each Non Governmental Organization shall have the duty:
(a) to respect the laws governing its operations.
(b) to respect the culture and traditions of the people and communities
in which it operates unless such culture and traditions are contrary
to any other written law;
(c) in the case of an International Non Governmental Organization-
(i) to foster and promote the capacities and abilities of other
Non Governmental Organizations;
(ii) to participate in activities of the Council; and
(iii) to refrain from doing any act which is likely to cause
competition or misunderstanding among Non Governmental
32. Non Governmental Organization registered under this Act shall
be entitled to engage in legally acceptable fund raising activities.
33. -(1) Any change in the constitution, name or name of office bear-
ers by a Non Governmental Organization shall be notified to the Regis-
trar in writing.
(2) A notice to the Registrar shall be accompanied by-
(a) a copy of resolution certified by office bearers stating that the
resolution complies with its governing documents; and
(b) a copy of the certificate of registration.
(3) The Registrar shall after receiving notification-
(a) enter into the register all changes as submitted in the notification;
(b) where necessary, issue a new certificate of registration; and
(c) remove from the register particulars of the Non Governmental Organization as may be necessary,
(4) Where the Registrar has made changes in the Register in respect
of the particulars of a Non Governmental Organization, he shall inform
34.-(1) Members of the public shall have right of access to and in-
spect any documents of any Non Governmental Organization at the of-
fice of the Registrar.
(2) The Minister shall prescribe the circumstances and the manner in
which the public shall exercise the right of access to and inspect such
16 No. 24
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES
35.-(1) Any person who-
(a) forges or, utters any document for the purposes of procuring
(b) makes false statements in respect of an application for registration;
(c) conducts fund raising activities contrary to this Act;
(d) operates a Non Governmental Organization without obtaining
registration under this Act; or
(e) violates the code of conduct, or contravene any regulation or rules made under this Act,
commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not
exceeding five hundred thousands shillings or to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) A person convicted of an offence under this section shall be dis-
qualified from holding office in any Non Governmental Organization
operating in Mainland Tanzania for a period not exceeding five years.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a person who contravenes the
provisions of this Act may, in lieu of the institution of the criminal charges
against him pursuant to this Act, be proceeded against under the provi- cap. 16
sions of the Penal Code.
36.-(1) For the purposes of Section 35, where an offence has been
committed under this Act by a Non Governmental Organization, any of
the office bearers of such Non Governmental Organization shall be li-
able to be proceeded against and be punished accordingly, unless any of
such office bearer proves to the satisfaction of the Court that he had no
knowledge, and could not, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, have
had knowledge, of the commission of the offence.
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), where a Non Governmental
Organizations and, or any of its office bearer has committed an offence,
the court may order that such Non-Governmental Organization and, or
any of its office bearer to pay a fine not exceeding fifty thousand shillings
for every day during which the commission of the offence continues.
37.-(1) The Registrar shall publish annually in newspapers widely
circulating in Mainland Tanzania the names of-
(a) all Non Governmental Organizations which have been registered;
(b) all Non Governmental Organizations whose names have been
(c) all Non Governmental Organizations which have been
38. -(1) The Minister may on consultation with the Board make regu-
lations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act,
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) the Minister
may make regulations prescribing-
(a) various forms to be used in this Act;
(b) fees payable under this Act;
(c) the format of the reports of activities to be submitted by the
Non Governmental Organization; and
(d) any matter which needs to be prescribed under this Act.
(3) Regulations made by the Minister shall be published in the Gazette.
APPOINTMENT, COMPOSITION AND PROCEDURE OF THE BOARD
(Under Section 7 (2)
1. -(1) The Board shall consist of-
(a) a Chairman who shall be appointed by the President upon recommendation
of the Minister;
(b) four members appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the Council
representing the diversified areas of Non-Governmental Organizations’ in-
terest in the Board; and
(c) five members, appointed by the Minister by virtue of their knowledge or
experience in development and welfare management representing the Gov-
18 No. 24
(2) The Board may co-opt such number of persons to represent any interest as the
Board may determine.
2. The members shall elect One amongst their number to be Vicc-Chairman of the Vice-
Board, and any member elected as Vice-Chairman, May subject to his continuing to be a Chairman
member, hold office for a term of three years from the date of his election.
3.-(1) The members of the Board shall hold office for a period of three years and
shall be eligible for re-appointment for a further period of three years.
(2) A member of the Board may at any time resign his office by giving notice in
writing addressed to the Minister, and from the date specified in the notice or, if no date
is so specified, from the date of the receipt of the notice by the Minister, he shall cease to
be a member.
(3) In the case of a member who is a member by virtue of his holding some other
Office, he shall cease to be a member upon his ceasing to hold that office,
4. If a member of the Board who is a member by virtue Of his holding some other
office is unable for any reason to attend any meeting of the Board, he may nominate Proxy
‘Other Person from his organization to attend the meeting in his place.
5. Where any member ceases to be a member for any reason before the expiration of
his term of Office, the appointing authority may appoint another person in his Place and the person so appointed shall hold Office for the remainder of the term Of Office of his
6. -(1) The Board shall ordinarily meet for the transaction of its business at the time
and at the Place determined by it, but shall meet at least once in every three months.
(2) The Chairman, or in his absence the Vice-Chairman, shall Preside at every meet-
ing of the Board and in the absence of both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman the
members Present shall appoint one of their number to Preside over the meeting,
(3) The Chairman or in his absence the Vice-Chairman, May at any time call special
Meeting of the Board shall call a special meeting upon a written request by a major-
ity of the members in office.
(4) The Chairman, or in his absence the Vice-Chairman, may invite any Person who
is not a member to Participate in the deliberations at any meeting of the Board, but any
Person so invited shall not be entitled to vote.
7. The Quorum at any meeting of the Board shall be half of the members and at least Quorum
two members from Non-Governmental Organizations.
8.-(1) Matters proposed at a meeting of the Board shall be decided by a majority of Decisions
the votes of the members Present and voting and in the event of any equality of votes the of the
person presiding shall have a second casting vote in addition to his Original or deliberative Board
(2) A decision may be made by the Board without a meeting by a circulation of the
relevant papers amongst the members and the expression of the views of the majority of
the members in writing be honoured but any member may require that the decision be
deferred and the subject matter be considered at a meeting of the Board.
9. -(1) The Board shall cause to be recorded and kept minutes of all business con-
ducted or transacted at its meetings, and the minutes of each Meeting of the Board shall be read and confirmed, or amended and confirmed, at the next meeting of the Board and
signed by the person presiding at the meeting,
(2) Any minutes purporting to be signed by the person presiding at a meeting of the
Board shall, in the absence of proof of error, be deemed to be a correct record of the
meeting whose minutes they purport to be.
10. The validity of any act or proceeding of the Board shall not be affected by any
vacancy among its member or by any defect proceedings in the appointment of any of
etc. not to
11. All orders, directions, notices or other documents made or issued or behalf of the
Board shall be signed by-
(a) the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Board, as the case may be; or
(b) the Registrar.
12. Any document purporting to be under the hand of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or
the Registrar as to any resolution of the Board or as having been issued on behalf of the
Board, shall be receivable in all courts or tribunals or other bodies authorized to receive
evidence and shall, unless the contrary is shown, be deemed, without further proof,
to be sufficient evidence of what is contained in the document.
13. The Seal of the Board shall not be affixed to any instrument except in the pres-
ence of the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman or the Registrar.
14. A member of the Board shall be entitled to such remuneration, fees or allowances
for expenses as the Minister may, upon recommendations of the Board prescribe from
time to time,
15. Subject to the Provisions of this Schedule, the Board may regulate its own pro-
Passed in the National Assembly on the 13th November, 2002
Clerk of the National Assembly
PRINTED BY THE GOVERNMENT PRINTER, DAR ES SALAAM-TANZANIA