Egypt urges NGOs to legalise status before 12 April final deadline

Aya Salah , Wednesday 5 Apr 2023

Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj urged on Wednesday non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country to complete the procedures required to legalise their status before the state deadline on the 12 April.

File photo: Egyptian Minister of Solidarity Nevine EL-Qabbag
File photo: Egyptian Minister of Solidarity Nevine EL-Qabbag


In a statement, Minister El-Qabbaj asserted that the government has streamlined all procedures, paper or electronic, for civil society institutions to file for status legalisation, in accordance with the provisions of Law 149/2019.

She stressed no further extensions or grace periods will be granted on the matter after a previously granted year-grace-period expires on the 12th of this month.

NGOs that miss the last grace period deadline to legalise their status will be referred to the judiciary for necessary action in accordance with the law, El-Qabbaj cautioned.

Law 149/2019 replaced a 2017 legislation that was criticised by some local civil society organisations and international bodies on the ground of restricting NGOs work in the country.

The 2019 law legalises NGOs following submission of notification and obtaining an official approval.

It exempts newly established entities from registration fees, customs and real estate taxes.

Additionally, under the 2019 law, NGOs cannot be dissolved without a court ruling.

On the other hand, the law also stipulates a number of penalties against entities and organizations that do not comply with the rules and those involved in criminal activity.

149/2019 mandated that all NGOs must formalise their status in the maximum of a year following the publication of its bylaws in 2022.

However, the government granted two grace periods of six months each for NGOs to legalise status.

Currently, 32,222 NGOs, including foreign organizations and regional federations have filed requests for legalisation.

All 55 non-Egyptian NGOs operating in the country have received full legal status, El-Qabbaj explained today.

The issuance of the new NGOs came as part of the government efforts to allow civil society to contribute to achieving indicators of sustainable and equitable development, El-Qabbaj stressed.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi declared 2022 as the year of civil society. 

Short link: