How to Register an NGO in Kenya For 2023
Learn how to legally establish and operate an NGO in Kenya with this comprehensive guide. Register your passion for change now!
Kenya has a rich history of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) playing crucial roles in various sectors, including health, education, environment, and human rights. Registering an NGO in Kenya is important for anyone passionate about making a difference. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire registration process.
What is an NGO?
An NGO, or non-governmental organization, is a not-for-profit entity established by private individuals or groups. NGOs are typically involved in activities that alleviate suffering, foster development, conserve the environment, or assist those in need. They can operate on a national or international scale.
Under the Kenyan NGO Act, operating an NGO without proper registration is illegal. Upon registration, the NGO becomes a corporate body capable of suing and being sued, entering into contracts, and acquiring and disposing of property, among other lawful activities.
The Regulatory Body: Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordination Board
The NGO Coordination Board is the regulatory body responsible for NGO registration in Kenya. Established under the Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordination Act Cap 19 of 1990, the Board began its operations in 1992. It falls under the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government.
Besides registration, the Board is also tasked with coordinating local and international NGO operations in the country, issuing policy guidelines, and receiving and analyzing annual reports.
How to Register an NGO in Kenya
The registration process for an NGO in Kenya is generally the same for national and international NGOs, with minor differences in the required documentation. Let's break down the steps.
- Name Search and Reservation: The first step is to submit the proposed name for your NGO to the Director of the Non-Governmental Organizations Board for a name search. If the proposed name is unique, it is reserved and forwarded to the Programs Manager for approval.
- Application Submission: Next, complete the official application form in detail and attach the necessary documents, including information about the NGO's proposed location and postal address.
- Documentation: Provide the required documents, such as contact information for the proposed NGO, information about the proposed top officials, details about the NGO's objectives, photos, IDs, passports, and KRA PIN certificates of the proposed officials, among others.
- Draft Constitution: A draft constitution of the proposed NGO, signed by the proposed top officials and at least two board members, should also be provided.
Forms and Payment: Fill out the necessary forms and make the required payments. The forms include the following:
- A name reservation form (Form 2).
- A detailed application for registration (Form 3).
- A form agreeing to the terms and conditions governing NGOs in Kenya (Form 5C).
After registering your NGO, you may need to make some changes. These services can include a change of financial year, requesting bank letters, changing officials, or even changing the NGO's name or scope.
Remember that some of these services may come at a cost and require additional documentation, so checking with the NGO Coordination Board for the most accurate and up-to-date information is essential.
Registering an NGO in Kenya may seem complex, but it is a manageable task with the right information and guidance. Understanding the steps involved in the registration process can go a long way in making your NGO registration journey smoother and faster.
1. Who regulates NGOs in Kenya?
The Non-Governmental Organisations Coordination Board is responsible for regulating NGOs in Kenya.
2. What documents are needed for NGO registration in Kenya?
You need a list of proposed officials, copies of their IDs or passports, photos, KRA PIN certificates, the proposed NGO's constitution, filled-out forms for name reservation, application for registration, and agreement to the terms and conditions governing NGOs in Kenya.
3. What are the primary roles of NGOs in Kenya?
NGOs are integral to health, education, human rights, and environmental conservation. They often fill gaps where the government's reach is limited, providing services and advocating for change.
4. Can foreigners register an NGO in Kenya?
Yes, foreigners can register an NGO in Kenya. However, they may need to provide additional documentation, including a valid work permit and a letter from their embassy.
5. How long does it take to register an NGO in Kenya?
The registration process can vary, but it generally takes one to three months from the time you submit your application and all the required documents.
6. What happens after the registration of the NGO?
After registration, the NGO becomes a legal entity capable of entering into contracts, acquiring, and disposing of property, among other lawful activities. It will be required to adhere to the NGO Coordination Act and may need to submit regular reports to the Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordination Board.
This article provides a general guideline for registering an NGO in Kenya. However, the process may vary and be subject to legal and regulatory framework changes. It's advisable to consult with a legal expert or directly with the Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordination Board to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information before starting the registration process. The author and the platform shall not be held liable for any inaccuracies or omissions in the information provided.
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