Foreign NGOs, uses and abuses: an African perspective

Against the background of the failure of the State in Africa, the author questions who are the foreign (Western) NGOs and what they are doing in Africa. He points out their secrecy, the nontransparency of their decisionmaking process, the nonreciprocity in their relations with the southern NGOs, and their reluctance to be evaluated by their African partners. He warns that Africans should be more vigilant and concludes with two recommendations: firstly, Africans must do their own scientific studies on their history, culture, economy, and the patterns of authority and legitimacy so as to ascertain what is acceptable and achievable by the people of Africa. Secondly, northern NGOs must be made more transparent. In sum, what Africa is asking for is an alliance, not one-sided solidarity, with the progressive forces of the North. Ref., sum. also in French and Spanish.

Title: Foreign NGOs, uses and abuses: an African perspective
Author: Tandon, Yash
Year: 1991
Periodical: IFDA Dossier
Issue: 81
Pages: 67-78
Language: English
Geographic term: Africa
Subject: NGO
Abstract: Against the background of the failure of the State in Africa, the author questions who are the foreign (Western) NGOs and what they are doing in Africa. He points out their secrecy, the nontransparency of their decisionmaking process, the nonreciprocity in their relations with the southern NGOs, and their reluctance to be evaluated by their African partners. He warns that Africans should be more vigilant and concludes with two recommendations: firstly, Africans must do their own scientific studies on their history, culture, economy, and the patterns of authority and legitimacy so as to ascertain what is acceptable and achievable by the people of Africa. Secondly, northern NGOs must be made more transparent. In sum, what Africa is asking for is an alliance, not one-sided solidarity, with the progressive forces of the North. Ref., sum. also in French and Spanish.