Political and economic instability has hindered the development of a robust Internet infrastructure in Africa and many African NGOs often find online technology a challenge to utilize – especially small NGOs. The rise of mobile technology in Africa, however, is enabling the African NGO sector and civil society to better use the internet for social good and the 25 NGOs listed below are leading the way.
1) Ape Action Africa ▪ apeactionafrica.org
Ape Action Africa protects Cameroon’s great apes through direct action – including rescuing orphaned gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys – giving them a safe forest sanctuary home where they can live with their own kind.
2) AWARE Trust Zimbabwe ▪ awaretrust.org
AWARE Trust Zimbabwe is the only veterinary conservation NGO in Zimbabwe run by veterinarians. AWARE provides expert veterinary treatment and rehabilitation to sick or injured ownerless wild animals on a pro bono basis and performs free sterilisation, vaccination, and basic health care for domesticated animals.
3) Conservation Through Poverty Alleviation International ▪ cpali.org
Conservation Through Poverty Alleviation International works with smallholder farmers to cultivate local resources and safeguard Madagascar’s rainforests. Founded on the principle that local populations are the key to sustainable conservation, CPALI supports wild silk farmers and plants trees in clear-cut zones and abandoned pasture lands.
4) David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ▪ sheldrickwildlifetrust.org
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.
5) Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary ▪ emoya.org.za
Limpopo, South Africa
The Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary was opened in 2012 and is home to 40 lions and 2 tigers which live in large, natural enclosures and receive food, rehabilitation, enrichment and veterinary care. The most recent to arrive are 33 lions rescued from circuses in Colombia and Peru.
6) Etijah ▪ etijah.org
The Youth and Development Consultancy Institute (Etijah) provides training and capacity building expertise to youth-serving NGOs in order develop the employment and living skills of Egyptian youth. Approximately one-third of Egyptian youth are unemployed and Etijah is committed is to developing their skillset so they can live prosperous, productive lives.
7) Green Belt Movement ▪ greenbeltmovement.org
Founded in 1977 the Green Belt Movement has planted over 51 million trees in Kenya. GBM works at the grassroots to promote environmental conservation, to build climate resilience and empower communities, and to foster democratic space and sustainable livelihoods.
8) Greenpeace Africa ▪ greenpeaceafrica.org
Johannesburg, South Africa
Greenpeace Africa works to defend the oceans and ancient forests of the African continent and is committed to leading in the effort to stop climate change. Also, in response to widespread hunger throughout Africa, GA campaigns for ecological farming and food sovereignty over industrialized agriculture to provide food stability and protect rural livelihoods.
9) High Atlas Foundation ▪ highatlasfoundation.org
The High Atlas Foundation works to establish sustainable development projects in local communities throughout Morocco. From organic agriculture to clean energy projects, the HAF works in partnership with the public, private, and civil sectors.
10) International Anti-Poaching Foundation ▪ iapf.org
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The International Anti-Poaching Foundation is on the front lines of conservation in Zimbabwe and South Africa. In addition to operating anti-poaching patrols, the IAPF trains rangers to protect wildlife and their surrounding ecosystems and implements and manages wildlife crime information and technology systems.
11) Kenya Red Cross Society ▪ kenyaredcross.org
The Kenya Red Cross Society is a humanitarian relief organisation created in 1965. In addition to disaster preparedness and disaster response and management, the KRCS also offers first aid training programs, HIV/AIDS prevention programs, and blood donation programs. In addition, the NGO also operate refugee programs in the Dadaab Refugee Complex.
12) Leading Youth, Sport & Development Project ▪ lysd.ong
Leading Youth Sport Development aims to leverage sports and education to empower communities in Togo. To date approximately 5,000 participants ages 6 to 20, of which 1/3 are girls, have participated in their sports camps. In addition, LYSD has distributed more than three sports and school equipment.
13) Little Light Uganda ▪ littlelight.ngo
Little Light Uganda is a self-help community and children’s center located in the Namuwongo slums in Kampala. The center offers free education and medical services and provides empowerment and leadership training for women and youth.
14) N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary ▪ naankuse.com
Originating as a small sanctuary nestled in the Namibian bush, N/a’an ku sê has grown into a world-famous conservation organization. In addition to a wildlife sanctuary, N/a’an ku sê also runs a health clinic and a school for the local Bushmen community.
15) Nelson Mandela Foundation ▪ nelsonmandela.org
Johannesburg, South Africa
The Nelson Mandela Foundation contributes to a just society by promoting the values, vision and work of Nelson Mandela. Founded in 1999 when Mr. Mandela stepped down as the President of South Africa, the foundation curates a physical and digital archive of the life and teachings of Nelson Mandela.
16) Samburu Project ▪ thesamburuproject.org
Samburu County, Kenya
The Samburu Project provides easy access to clean, safe drinking water as a foundation for development to the nomadic, pastoral communities of Samburu, Kenya. To date, the NGO has drilled 84 wells thus bringing water to over 80,000 people.
17) Save the Children Nigeria ▪ nigeria.savethechildren.net
Save the Children has had a permanent presence in Nigeria since 2001 because one in five children in Nigeria dies before their fifth birthday and about 40% of children miss out on school and have to work to survive. Save the Children Nigeria focuses on health and nutrition, education, hunger and livelihoods, child rights governance and child protection.
18) Somali Women & Development Center ▪ swdcsom.org
The Somali Women & Development Center is a human rights organization that works to improve the situation of women in Somalia. Through lobbying and advocacy, the NGO seeks to reduce all kinds of violence in Somalia and provides free legal aid service to those in need.
19) Tanzanian Children’s Fund ▪ tanzanianchildrensfund.org
The Tanzanian Children’s Fund serves the Karatu region of northern Tanzania through their primary and secondary schools, medical clinic, and microfinance programs. In addition, the Fund runs the Rift Valley Children’s Village which currently provides a permanent and loving home for 95 marginalized and orphaned children.
20) Tostan ▪ tostan.org
Tostan works to empower African communities to bring about positive social transformation by providing human rights-based women’s empowerment education in order to help end female genital mutilation and child marriage.
21) Ubuntu Education Fund ▪ ubuntufund.org
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
The Ubuntu Education Fund is a nonprofit organization working to provide health and educational support to orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa. Founded in 1999, Ubuntu serves more than 400,000 people.
22) UNICEF Ethiopia ▪ unicef.org/ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
UNICEF Ethiopia supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. With a presence in Ethiopia since 1990, UNICEF Ethiopia has become one of the most impactful NGOs for children in Ethiopia.
23) Water School ▪ water.ngo
The Water School works to provide simple and sustainable clean water education in schools in Kenya (Uganda and Haiti) in order to reduce diarrhea and other waterborne diseases. The Water School teaches hygiene, safe sanitation, and how to use sunlight to purify water.
24) West Africa AIDS Foundation ▪ waafweb.org
To help battle the spread of HIV/AIDS, the West Africa AIDS Foundation sets up comprehensive health care centres throughout Ghana and West Africa. The centres process access to treatment and HIV testing and counselling. WAAF also works to end the stigma surrounding AIDS and mother-to-child transmission as well as home-based hospice care.
25) World Vision Africa ▪ wvi.ngo/africa
World Vision is a development NGO with numerous programs meant to achieve the sustained well-being of children, families, and communities, especially the most vulnerable. From health and sanitation to education and disaster response, World Vision is on the ground in 25 countries addressing the roots causes of poverty.