Find Civil Society expertise in Namibia

The main areas of work for civil society in Namibia are gender, health, human rights, democracy and the environment. A lot of the work on the environment addresses the deforestation trend that is sweeping the country, driven by an over-reliance on firewood by poor rural communities. Gender-focused NGOs are advocating and lobbying for the introduction of laws that protect women, promoting attitudes that reduce violence towards women and working to achieve equality at all levels of education. Many NGOS are working towards the attainment of equality of health opportunities for all and stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases.

The Namibia Non-Governmental Organisations’ Forum (NANGOF) is the most recognised umbrella association of NGOs. It is mainly involved in advocacy, NGO networking and information dissemination and civil society capacity building programmes. The Regional and Bilateral Affairs Department promotes Namibia’s political and economical relations with various countries across the globe. Multiple international NGOs function in the country in a manner which has been strongly supported by the government, who believe they have a crucial role in developing Namibia.

There are four ways a CSO/NGO can register itself with a relevant authority: as a voluntary association, a welfare organisation, a trust or as a Section 21 company. The Ministry of Health and Social Services is the most prepared authority to register altruistic voluntary associations and welfare organisations. CSOs/NGOs seeking recognition as trusts should apply to the Master of the High Court. Section 21 companies are not-for-profit – their registration is carried out under the Companies Act with the Registrar of Companies.

All unions and organisations must register with the Labour Commissioner’s office of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The International Trade Union Confederation maintains the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), one of the main trade unions in the country.