The Role Of Western NGOs In Shaping African Culture
As the years have gone by, Western Culture has moved on from its more traditional and conservative Christian roots. Western Society is now more “progressive” and liberal in its ideology. The root of the current progressive worldview is the works of atheistic thinkers such as Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. As a result, a lot of its main ideas are decidedly anti-Christian. Their stance on things like abortion, marriage, LGBTQ lifestyle, the role of women and the traditional nuclear family clash with the teachings of the Christian Faith. Proponents of this progressive liberal ideology are not content with the culture change in their society. They are intent on spreading it across the world by any means necessary.
In Africa, one of the main methods being used to force a culture change is through Western Organizations. Africans face a myriad of challenges in their day to day life so it’s normal to have many Non Governmental Organizations step in to assist where the local national governments are unable or unwilling to. Many NGOs do play a positive role by bringing in much needed help, but there is also a significant number of them who work behind the scenes to serve their own purposes.
Here are some of the ways they do this.
- Western NGOs challenge or undermine local values and norms such as religion, tradition, sovereignty and nationalism in the countries where they work. They do this by criticizing or opposing local policies, practices and institutions that they don’t agree with.
- Western NGOs influence and shape local values and norms, such as culture, identity, behavior and lifestyle in the countries where they work. One effective way they use to introduce new ideas is through media and entertainment. There are a number of organizations that fund documentaries, TV Series, movies and music albums that promote their message. By funding creative content that aligns with their goals, they are able to reach a large audience and influence public opinion.
- Western NGOs promote progressive/liberal ideals by getting involved in a country’s Judicial and Legislative process. NGOs can file lawsuits, enjoin themselves to a case as a third party, provide expert opinion (amicus curiae) or provide funding for cases that interest them. When it comes to the Legislative process, these organizations can lobby and campaign for changes in laws and policies, they can draft legislative proposals that address their goals and whenever possible, they can get involved in the Constitution making process.
The following are some Western NGOs being used to bring about a Liberal/Progressive culture change in Africa.
- Center for Reproductive Rights: This is a U.S. based NGO that advocates for the legalization of abortion services in Kenya and other countries. It has filed lawsuits and petitions to challenge the criminalization of abortion and to enforce the constitutional protections for “abortion rights” in Kenya.
- Human Dignity Trust: This is a U.K.based NGO that supports legal challenges to laws that criminalize homosexuality in Kenya and other countries. It provides legal assistance, research, and advocacy to local partners who are working to decriminalize same-sex relations.
- National Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission: This is a Kenyan NGO that provides legal aid and works to change the law and policy around LGBTQ persons in Kenya. It is funded by the Open Societies Foundation and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, two organizations known for being very active in promoting the Liberal/Progressive Culture around the world.
There has to be a debate about the role of Western NGOs in Africa. Many of them do play a positive role where they actually help people very much in need of their assistance, however, we need to examine how their presence here is impacting society in general. They cannot be allowed to freely impose Western Ideologies that a majority of the people don't agree with and would not want introduced into the culture.