Private Philanthropy

Country Reports: Middle East and North Africa

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 1, Issue 3, March 1999


A meeting will be held in Amman, Jordan to discuss legal developments affecting NGOs in the region. It is expected to take place in late June and to be sponsored by the Friedrich Neumann Stiftung and the World Bank. For further information about this meeting, please contact Shaha Riza at the World Bank,


The draft law that would revise the current Law No. 32 is being further refined and will be available shortly in English as well as Arabic. The new draft makes three important changes:

  1. NGOs may simply announce their existence (similar to the French law, which permits an “association déclarée”); if the government wishes to object to the registration of an NGO, it bears the burden of going to court to prevent it;
  2. NGOs may work in any field, including human rights; and
  3. The government has a right to dissolve NGOs only for reasons that are stated in the law; seven reasons are stated, including the acceptance of foreign funds without permission of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

NGOs remain concerned about this last issue, and the working group of MOSA officials and NGOs is considering their objections. For further information about the process that has been adopted for consideration of this draft, please see the report in Issue 1, Vol. 1, IJNL (September 1998).

For additional information, please contact Dr. Amani Kandil, Executive Director, Arab Network for NGOs (Shabaka), (2 02) 341 8011 (tel) or 341 8013 (fax), Negad Al-Borai, Executive Director, Group for Democratic Development,


The Kuwaiti Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) was formed in 1976 by Kuwaiti businesses to support scientific progress. All shareholding companies in Kuwait are required to make an annual contribution of 5% of net profits; many companies include this requirement in their articles of association. The compulsory contribution to the KFAS from Kuwaiti shareholding companies has now been reduced to 2%. (Middle East Economic Digest, 15 January 1999)


A working group comprised of NGOs and government officials has begun to draft new legislation for NGOs in Morocco. The General Secretary of the Ministry of Justice. Ahmad Gazali, is participating in the group and other high government officials, including the king’s legal counsel, are interested in this effort. ICNL is making available recent legislation and draft legislation from France as well as other Francophone countries in Africa to assist this effort. For further information, please contact Ferid Belhaq of the World Bank,