Non-Fiction Books:

Silences in NGO Discourse

The Role and Future of NGOs in Africa


Paperback / softback

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Silences in NGO Discourse by Issa G. Shivji

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Issa Shivji has long been one of the most articulate critics of the destructive effects of neoliberal policies in Africa, and in particular of the ways in which they have eroded the gains of independence. In two extensive essays in this book, he shows that the role of NGOs in Africa cannot be understood without placing them in their political and historical context. Aid, in which NGOs play a significant role, is frequently portrayed as a form of altruism, a charitable act that enables the wealthy to help the poor. As structural adjustment programmes were imposed across Africa in the 1980s and 1990s, the international financial institutions and development agencies began giving money to NGOs for programmes to minimise the more glaring inequalities perpetuated by their policies. As a result, NGOs have flourished a?? and played an unwitting role in consolidating the neoliberal hegemony in Africa. If social policy is to be determined by citizens rather than the donors, argues Shivji, African NGOs must become catalysts for change rather than the catechists of aid that they are today. Issa Shivji is one of Africa's most radical and original thinkers and has written frequently for Fahamu's Pambazuka News. He is the author of several books, including the seminal Concept of Human Rights in Africa (1989) and, more recently, Let the People Speak: Tanzania down the road to neoliberalism (2006).

Author Biography

Issa Shivji is one of Africa's most radical and original thinkers and has written frequently for Pambazuka News, as well as Silences in NGO Discourse:
Release date NZ
February 26th, 2009
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Fahamu Books
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