• May 20, 2024
  • Last Update May 20, 2024 1:50 PM
  • Nairobi

Good news to NGOs as Public Benefits Organization Act is operationalized

Good news to NGOs as Public Benefits Organization Act is operationalized

By Patricia Mollyne Mataga

A law enacted more than a decade ago to govern civil society organisations has now been operationalised, President William Ruto has announced.

The execution of the legal instrument to make the Public Benefits Organisations Act operational, the President said, demonstrates the government’s commitment to forging a strong partnership with civil society.He explained that this is aimed at advancing the country’s pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development.

“Civil society has a role to play in the development of our country. We may not necessarily always agree, but that is the beauty of having diverse opinions,” he added.

President Ruto pointed out that the Act has consolidated all legislations governing civil society organisations into one predictable legal regime.

“We have made it possible for Public Benefit Organisations from outside Kenya not to be taken through unnecessary vigorous processes before they begin their operations in Kenya,” he said.

The President was speaking at the closing session of the United Nations Civil Society Conference at the United Nations Office in Nairobi on Friday, May 10, 2024.

He said strengthening civil society is part of the government’s effort to build an all-of-society coalition that brings together government, the opposition, NGOs religious institutions and other groups.

In addition, the Head of State said this was the surest way of addressing exclusion and marginalisation that promote poverty and inequality.

According to Ruto, his government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda identifies development as an inclusive and collective endeavour.

“It is not a special and exclusive project of the Executive or the public sector defined by narrow objectives or interests,” he said.

Saying that civil society plays a critical role in shaping policies, driving change and keeping governments in check, the President called for the empowerment of the youth to enable them to make their contribution to the nation’s development.

“It is our responsibility to meaningfully involve them in shaping the future by consistently taking deliberate steps to dismantle barriers hindering their participation in political and public life,” he said.

On his part, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said civil society has played a critical role in enhancing democracy and governance and acted as a bridge between people and their representatives.

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