The Importance Of Civil Society

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According to Fenta (2010) and Ghaus-Pasha (2005), the World Bank uses the term to Civil Society refers to the wide array of non–governmental and non-profit organizations that have a presence in public life, expressing the interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic consideration. CSOs therefore refer to a wide array of organizations: community groups, non–governmental organizations (NGOs), labour unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations”. Civil Society as per World Health Organization (WHO), refers “the general public at large, representing the social domain that is not part of the State…show more content…
Ayee (2005) also adds that CS is a voluntary expression of the interest and aspiration of citizens organised and united by common interests, goals, values or traditions, and mobilized into collective action either as beneficiaries or stakeholders of the development process. Though civil society stands apart from state and market forces, it is not necessarily in basic contradiction to them, and it ultimately influences and is influenced by both. The above contextual definitions of the term CSOs reflect the subjective nature of its operational definition and the diversity of its scope across different international bodies. whereas, Civil Society can be observed as individuals or groups apart from family, business and states organized or associated to pursue their common goals or others’ in the form of associations, religion, rights groups, clubs, or the like. 2.3.1 Operational Definitions of CSOs in…show more content…
The dawn of independence in the ex-colonies created a vacuum in the public service provision mainly because of the departure of personnel and funding from metropolitan sources, (Teferi 2010; Fenta 2010). This undermined the capacity of the embryonic post-colonial African states to provide public services, therefore steadily diminished. In most of the freshly independent African countries, expatriate church organizations together with missionary societies made efforts to bridge the gap by providing educational facilities, health service centres, vocational training centres, etc. These efforts were backed by their connections with many philanthropic organizations and foundations in more developed countries (Kassahun, 2002). As Manji and O’Coill (2002) alluded, the role of CSOs in the early post-independence Africa remained considerably marginal. The bulk of the much needed social services were provided by the state as an obligation to its social contract with the people, whilst the afore mentioned CSOs complemented the state by carrying out projects providing services in peripheral areas that the state was usually disinclined to reach out to, (Teferi

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