The Centre for Governance and Development (CGD) is a non-governmental, non-partisan and non-profit organization. It emerged out of the realisation by leading pro-democracy reformists that the re-introduction of multi-party politics still resulted in the ruling party retaining power despite widespread popular opposition. CGD was founded in 1993 in Nairobi at a workshop on the theme ‘Human Rights and Democratic Development,’ jointly organized by the International Commission of Jurist, Kenya Section (ICJ-K) and the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights and Democracy), Canada. This came against a backdrop of widespread concern over the 1992 multiparty election’s failure to bring significant democratization in Kenya.
The one party constitutional and institutional structure was still firmly in place and was being used to launch a counter offensive against further democratization. The workshop elected a steering committee representing human rights and democracy organizations, political parties, and donor representatives and mandated it to conceptualize, plan and implement a comprehensive democratic initiative. The first meeting of the committee resolved to constitute itself into a Centre for Governance and Development (CGD), which later became the initiatives official name.
As part of its mandate, CGD focuses on partnership building and has facilitated the formation of and is convening a number of issues-based stakeholder coalitions/associations. These include the Kenya Producers Coalition (KEPCO), National Taxpayers’ Association (NTA), the Election Observation Group (ELOG), Coalition for Accountability and Political Financing (CAPF), and Regional Integration Civil Society Network (RECINET). Further, it has been a lead agency in facilitating dialogue around issues of governance in the Eastern Africa region. Since its conception, CGD has made significant strides in strengthening the pillars of good governance through opening up political spaces for civil society, building bridges between government and citizens, and advocating for transparency and accountability.
To empower citizens, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Government and Representative Institutions for an equitable and democratic society through partnership building, research and advocacy.
An informed and democratic society that is prosperous, equitable and committed to the rule of law.