International and domestic nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have multiplied on the African continent as both public and private donors have shifted their funding away from ineffective governments. Many African nations, including Zimbabwe and Sudan, have responded by expelling international NGOs and enacting laws that severely limit their ability to function. In most cases, NGOs are without recourse because of their precarious position in international law. Some scholars have posited that NGOs should be granted legal personality to make them full or partial subjects in international law. This Note argues that such a solution would not promote important goals NGOs advance in Africa. It would also ignore the important role that African governments must play in health and development issues. Instead, the international community should reinforce the existing international legal framework, allow NGOs to remain independent, and create mechanisms to foster communication between NGOs and host governments.
Chandler H. Udo,
Nongovernmental Organizations and African Governments: Seeking an Effective International Legal Framework in a New Era of Heath and Development Aid,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.