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GuideStar expands to Africa

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With the help of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, GuideStar International plans to create a free web portal that will showcase information about African nonprofits.

The joint venture between the two organizations, called GuideStar Systems in Africa, aims to bring to light the work of the civil-society sector in the continent, thereby increasing transparency and accountability.

Through a common platform, charities can share information about their organizations, including their mission, vision, needs and finances, with potential donors and policymakers.

“Our vision is of nationally, regionally and globally connected African civil society where decisions within and across borders are driven by transparent, high quality and comprehensive information,” Caroline Neligan, director of partnerships and development for GuideStar, says in a statement.

However, several challenges exist: Many small and rural African nonprofits do not have access to the internet; the sector tends to be informal and community-based; and local attitudes can make groups reluctant to share information.

GuideStar and the UN will work with national regulators, membership groups and associations to identify legally-registered charities for initial population of the new portal.

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