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NGO registration process in Kenya

You must have come across or heard about names such as, Aga Khan Foundation, Jamii Bora, Asante Africa foundation and International Rescue Committee. Those are just but a few examples of Non-governmental Organizations(NGOs) registered and operating in Kenya. In this article we take a look at steps you should follow when registering an NGO in Kenya.

Non-governmental organizations, as the name suggests, are non-profit voluntary citizens’ organizations whose operations are not linked to any government. They depend on donor fundings, membership fees income generating activities and long term investments to fund their operations. Their main activities may include but not limited to helping:

  • Children living with HIV
  • Drug addicts
  • The elderly
  • People living with disability
  • Homeless people

There are three different scales in which NGOs usually operate: local scale, national scale and international scale. Each and every NGO operates on its own scale. International NGOs are foreign based but registered in Kenya.

Kenyans and foreigners are at liberty to register NGOs in Kenya as long as they meet certain requirements. The registration process is quite similar for both Kenyans and foreigners, only that additonal information is required from foreigners who want to register an NGO in Kenya.

The process of registering an NGO in Kenya has to go through the NGOs Co-ordination Board, which is established under the NGOs Co-ordination board Act 1990. The board is responsible for registration and regulation of NGOs in Kenya and is currently under the Interior ministry.

How to register an NGO in Kenya

Step1: Name search

Visit the NGO Co-ordination board’s website (www.ngobureau.go.ke) and click on “Our services”, then pre-registration services on the menu. It will take you to the NGOs pre-registration page.

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While on this page, you will have to download a form known as “Form 2”. Fill it with 3 proposed names of your NGO in your preferred order of priority. Your personal details are also required.

The board will conduct a name search on the three proposed names and find the most suitable one. You will have to part with a processing fee of KSH 1,000 on submission of this form. This process will take almost half a day.

On approval of a name, the board will reserve it for 60 days. The applicant has a chance to renew the reservation (on expiry of the first reservation) for another 60 days. A KSH 500 fee is charged for this.

Step 2: Registration

This is the part where you make an application for NGO’s registration in Kenya using the newly approved name in the first step above.

Make a visit to the board offices. You will be issued with two forms to fill out or you can alternatively download them from the board’s website.

Below are the two forms you are required to fill on this step:

Form 1:

This is a one page form that you have to fill in with further details like: name of NGO, full contact details, classification sector, scope(National or international) etc.

Form 3:

You are required to fill in additional information on this form, for example: contact information, objective of the proposed NGO, qualifications, personal information of the officials,  nature (e.g agriculture, disability, health etc).

NOTE:

  • Use only BLOCK LETTERS when filling the two forms above.
  • The two forms above are issued only after you pay a fee amounting to KSH 400. Downloaded forms will not be received unless you pay the same amount.
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Documents required for NGO registration in Kenya

The following documents should be attached to the registration documents, Form 1 and Form 3:

  • Two colour passport size photo for each of the three proposed officials and an additional two officials. Names of the officials should be written at the back of their corresponding passports
  • Copy of Certificate of good conduct for Kenyan officials. For foreigners, an equivalent document from their country of origin is used. The document must not be older than 6 months from the date of issue
  • All the five officials whose details appear should have a Kenyan ID card or passport (for foreigners) attached. A third of the board members must be Kenyan citizens if the NGO is foreign based
  • The proposed constitution which must be signed by all five board members
  • Proposed one year budget of the NGO
  • Copy of Form 2

NOTE:

A processing fee of KSH 16,000 for national and KSH 30,000 for foreign based NGOs is charged at this stage.

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Conclusion on NGO registration process in Kenya

The NGO registration process in Kenya follows a very strict and thorough procedure and takes a significant time to complete. This is because the government may have concerns that individuals with bad intentions might want to register an organization that operate in illegal activities in the name of an NGO.


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