Founded in 1962, the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) is a non-party political, non-profit making organisation and non-denominational official coordinating body of NGOs in Zimbabwe. It was founded as a welfare organisation under the name of Southern Rhodesia Council of Social Services predominantly for social welfare organisations. In 1980 there was an increase in the number of NGOs focusing on social, economic and political development of the Zimbabwean people particularly in the rural areas thus the organisation was renamed Voluntary Organisations in Community Enterprise (VOICE).The organisation was renamed ten years later to the National Association of Non Governmental Organisations (NANGO). It is mandated by its membership to coordinate the activities of NGOs, represent the NGO sector and strengthen the voice of NGOs in Zimbabwe.
With a membership compliment of more than 1 000 Organisations NANGO carries under its wings an amalgam of various issue constituencies and representative groups all with the singular focus of meeting the development Â needs of men, women and children in Zimbabwe. In many ways NANGO is a meeting place of the hopes and aspiration of millions of men and women in their capacities as the disabled, the vulnerable, the displaced, the oppressed and a host of other marginalised groups. Concomitantly NANGO bears the responsibility of unifying these various concerns by creating space for collaboration, mutual support and the development of common best practices.
NANGO has taken on board the strategic objective of Strengthening the Voice of NGOs which speaks to the Organisation’s role as the representative Institution of the sector to government, the private sector and other stakeholders. In due course the conceptualisation of this mandate has metamorphosed in response to the demand for NANGO to operate at the helm of Civil Society through the coordination of various Civil Society responses to emerging issues in Zimbabwe. In this leadership/coordination conjecture the onus on NANGO is not only to represent the interests of the NGO Sector but also to catalyse the sector to speak on critical issues and in speaking to formulate consensus based pragmatic responses to the emerging issues.
Over the last five decades of its existence, the association has taken a leading role in coordinating the participation of NGOs in national processes and actively fought for the interests of the poor and marginalised through advocating for a conducive operating environment for NGOs. It has also played a critical role of creating platforms for engagement between civil society and government and centre for capacity building for its membership.