Context and Justification for the LUKMEF Africa Civil Society Development Centre
The 1990 law on Associations and the 1999 Law on NGOs are the two fundamental legal instruments used by the civil society in Cameroon. Within the framework of these two laws, over 55,602 organizations are registered in the books of the ministry of territorial administration at sub divisional (DO) and divisional levels (SDO) in Cameroon(Ref CSOSI-2019 by USAID). The registration process is relatively simple for most CSOs. However, CSOs working on governance, anticorruption, and human rights issues may encounter delays or other difficulties in obtaining registration receipts or be denied registration arbitrarily, giving rise to the perception that the registering authorities do not apply the laws in a fair and consistent manner.
The government practices administrative tolerance” in that it allows many organizations to operate semi-legally, unable to gain full registration but able to conduct activities without reprisal. At the same time, local officials sometimes hinder the activities of anti-corruption and human rights CSOs.