NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS; COMPLIANCE AND REGULATORY UPDATE: THE LAW AND PROCEDURES REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION OF INTERNATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS IN TANZANIA
- Brief of the general and legal requirements for registration of International Non-Governmental Organizations (I-NGO’S)
- Summation of the provisions of the Non-Governmental Organization Act No. 24 of 2002 as amended by the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act No. 11 of 2005
- A guide to remedy faults occurred during registration of an I-NGO
- Post registration compliance requirements
Recently, regulation of and spotlight on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania (“the Government”) has increased due to the fact that NGO’s are very important partners to the Government in building and enhancing social economic development of Tanzania. The regulation has also come in handy towards monitoring the operations of International Non-Governmental Organizations (I-NGOs) and ensuring that they align well with the domestic laws and policies as well.
The Non-Governmental Organizations Act No. 24 of 2002 (“the Non-Governmental Organizations Act”) as amended by the Written Laws (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act No. 11 of 2005 (“Act No 11 of 2005”) was enacted to implement the National Policy of NGO’s, 2001; which aimed to create enabling environment for the NGO’s to operate effectively and efficiently in the social and economic transformation of the country.
Breakthrough Attorneys corporate team has prepared this thorough summary regarding registration of I-NGOs in Tanzania as provided in the Non-Governmental Organization Act amended by Act No. 11 of 2005.
2.0. General and Legal Requirements for Registration of International I-NGOs
(Provisions of the the Non-Governmental Organisation Act as amended by the Miscellaneous Amendments Act No. 11 of 2005)
The laws under Section 11 of the Non-Governmental Organisation Act as amended by the Miscellaneous Amendments Act No. 11 of 2005 places a requirement for all NGO’s to be registered by the Registrar of NGO’s and obtains Certificate of Registration.
- a certificate of incorporation;
- copy of constitution of the I-NGO;
- minutes containing full names and particulars of founder members;
- personal particulars of office bearers;
- address and physical location of the head office of the I-NGO; and
- any other particulars or information as may be required by the Registrar of NGO’s.
The Constitution of the I-NGO
The Constitution of an I-NGO must be in compliance with the approved format made from time to time by the office of the Registrar of NGO’s in Tanzania. Also the Constitution of an I-NGO must have founding members of the local branch which two of them must be residence and citizens of Tanzania. This feature must be adhered even if the I-NGO had already had founding members from the Head Quarters.
Form of Application and Fees
Application for registration of an I-NGO shall be submitted in NGO Form Number 1 as prescribed under the First Schedule of the Non-Governmental Organizations Regulations, 2004.
An applicant is required to pay registration fees of United States Dollar Three Hundred and Fifty (USD 350) as at the date of publishing this Article. Fees for registration of I-NGO’s may change from time to time.
3.0. How to Remedy Faults Occurred During Registration of an I-NGO
Applicants are required to provide correct information at all stages of the application for registration of an I-NGO. Failure of doing so is contrary to Section 35(1)(b) of the Non-Governmental Organisation Act as amended by the Miscellaneous Amendments Act No. 11 of 2005 which says any person who makes false statements in respect of an application for registration commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.
However, where faults occur accidentally an applicant has to do the following:-
- write to the Registrar of NGO’s in Tanzania stating how and why the fault has occurred;
- fill NGO Form number 9 for change of particulars (if adjustments will change any particulars of the I-NGO ; and
- attach Constitution of an I-NGO, proof of registration of an I-NGO and the Board Resolution stating that members have agreed to make such changes.
The Registrar will approve changes if he is satisfied with reasons explained in the letter and that all proper procedures were followed. However, there may be charges involved during the process of changing particulars of an I-NGO as the Registrar may direct.
4.0. Post Registration Statutory Compliance Requirements
Upon successful registration, an I-NGO is required to comply with other requirements which emanate after the registration process. An I-NGO is always required to be compliant with the following statutory fillings and reporting:-
- Filing of annual returns
- Filing of activity report
- Filing of audited financial statements.
- Statutory Compliances in other laws such as Immigration laws for expat workers |(see COMPLIANCE ISSUES CONCERNING THE EMPLOYMENT OF NON-CITIZENS IN TANZANIA ) Labour Laws, Tax laws, etc.
There is a rebuttable presumption that, where an I-NGO fails to file its annual return for two (2) consecutive years, the Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Board (“Board”) shall imply that such I-NGO has ceased to exist, and may issue an notice in writing to the bearers of that I-NGO requiring them to submit to the Board within a period of sixty (60) days, proof of its existence.
Where an I-NGO fails to submit to the Board its proof of existence within a period of sixty (60) days, the Board may direct the Registrar to cancel the Certificate if it’s Registration and remove its name from the register.
The NGO sector in Tanzania is growing very fast. Furthermore, the Government of Tanzania and other international agencies are giving increased attention to o NGOs particularly in enhancing social-economic development. They act as a non-state actor with own budget and financial and/or expertise muscle to stimulate development and change in the society. Many Donors tend to highlight and fund such NGOs and agencies as social change stimuli. Hence, enactment of the NGO’s Act and its Regulations is the tool that the Government use to promote efficiency and accountability of NGOs and makes a maximum contribution to the country’s development process, while ensuring that intended import is achieved in maximum.
Breakthrough Attorneys offers a competitive corporate team studded with experienced lawyers in registration of NGOs, statutory compliance, contracts and attached matters.
This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, Breakthrough Attorneys, its members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.