From the Preface
"[…] civil society worldwide has become a critical player in the management of public affairs. The role of civil society in Eastern Africa is particularly important at this time because of the many challenges facing the region. Some of these challenges have arisen from the efforts being made to establish the East African Community, and attempts at democratization and the improvement of governance among others. Managing these challenges requires the participation of key stake holders. Civil society can generate ideas regarding the successful establishment and eventual functioning of the East African Community. This role is acknowledged in the charter establishing the East African Community.
[…] civil society organizations in the region have undergone some changes that are worth exploring. In some countries like Kenya, and also Southern Sudan, civil society actors of the past are now serving in government. For the sector to play its rightful role in the region it is important that changes over time are observed so that weaknesses arsing from such transitions do not weaken the movement.
[…] a comparative analysis of civil society from other regions of Africa would enhance our overall understanding. What works in one situation may not work in the next. There are best practices in one case that others might learn from. It is against this consideration that section two of the publication is devoted to an analysis and perspectives on civil society in other parts of Africa, namely Nigeria, Ethiopia and Zanzibar."