Civil society is the arena outside of the family, the state and the market where people associate to advance common interests.
It is also referred to as the ‘third sector’ of society distinct from government and business organizations or the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens.
Civil societies include professional associations, religious groups, labour union, citizen advocacy oragnisations that give voice to various sectors of society and enrich public participation in democracies.
Roles of Civil Society
Civil societies are critical actors in the advancement of universal values such as human rights, the environment, labour standards and the fight against corruption.
Examples of Civil Societies or NGO’s in Nigeria are;
- Africa Youths International Development Foundation
- African Children Talent Discovery Foundations
- African Grassroots Development International
- African in Diaspora organization (Speed-Africa)
- Centre for Neighbourhood Improvement
Factors that can promote Civil Societies
- An advanced society where citizens share a social right of access to the commonwealths of resources produced.
- A society where citizens can exercise their civic duty of self-governance by participating in political structures and decentralized power and authority.
- A community where members have the opportunity to hold positions or offices of public decision- making.
- Voluntary participation of citizens in social groups, networks and social transformation.
- A society where citizens hold decision-making power and work to strengthen and improve the local community.
- A society where citizens demand for social justice and the rule of law.