The Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has deplored high levels of non-compliance among non-government organizations (NGOs) in Malawi to meet reporting requirements as required by law.
Speaking in Lilongwe during the 2019 NGO sector report on Thursday evening, Kaliati reiterated that non-compliance among NGOs is undermining fundamental democratic principles of transparency and accountability.
The NGO Board of Malawi – a State-owned registrar and regulator of NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs) in Malawi, has prepared the NGO sector report, which has revealed that only 143 NGOs submitted their annual reports to the NGO Board in the year under review.
Malawi has about 800 registered NGOs implementing various interventions in sectors such as education, health, agriculture, among others.
Kaliati called upon Council for Non-Governmental Organizations in Malawi (CONGOMA) – a membership umbrella organisation and coordinating body for NGOs – to work together with the NGO Board in enforcing the NGO Act especially the reporting requirements.
“Consolidated reports of the NGOs are very important for they raise awareness about the contribution NGOs are making to the Gross Domestic Product and economic development of our country. We need to know what NGOs do and whether their work is aligned with the development plans of our country. When we know, we should then be able to identify priority areas that require NGOs interventions,” she said.
The NGO Act requires that NGOs should submit their annual audit and technical reports and returns to the NGO Board of Malawi to ensure that they are transparent and accountable to government, citizens, development partners and other stakeholders.
However, the 2019 NGO sector report says the more worrying fact is that compliance to that requirement has been an issue over the years, hovering between 20 to 25 percent only.
But Kaliati vowed that government, through the NGO Board, will ensure that these NGO sector reports are produced annually.
Vice chairperson of the NGO Board of Malawi, Nina Ghambi, said the 2019 NGO sector report represents a true reflection of the amount of NGOs that are compliant to what the NGO Act requires.
Ghambi assured that the board will continue engaging NGOs and other stakeholders on the matter through established platforms or channels.
“NGOs claim they are complementing government efforts in uplifting the lives of the citizens. Therefore, they must submit their reports to the board so we know they are really transforming citizens,” Ghambi said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :