Civil society is the arena outside of the family, the state and the market where people associate to advance common interests. It is also referred to as the ‘third sector’ of society distinct from government and business organizations or the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens.

Civil societies include professional associations, religious groups, labour union, citizen advocacy oragnisations that give voice to various sectors of society and enrich public participation in democracies.


  1. What is civil society?
  2. Give some examples of civil society.


Roles of Civil Society

Civil societies are critical actors in the advancement of universal values such as human rights, the environment, labour standards and the fight against corruption. 

Examples of Civil Societies or NGO’s in Nigeria are;

  1. Africa Youths International Development Foundation
  2. African Children Talent Discovery Foundations
  3. African Grassroots Development International
  4. African in Diaspora organization (Speed-Africa)
  5. Centre for Neighbourhood Improvement 

Factors that can promote Civil Societies

  1. An advanced society where citizens share a social right of access to the commonwealths of resources produced.
  2. A society where citizens can exercise their civic duty of self-governance by participating in political structures and decentralized power and authority.
  3. A community where members have the opportunity to hold positions or offices of public decision- making.
  4. Voluntary participation of citizens in social groups, networks and social transformation.
  5. A society where citizens hold decision-making power and work to strengthen and improve the local community.
  6. A society where citizens demand for social justice and the rule of law.


  1. Explain the roles of civil society in developing the country
  2. What are the sources of fund to civil societies?


  1. What is civil society?
  2. Give some examples of civil society.
  3. Explain the factors that can promote civil societies.
  4. State factors that can limit the application of the rule of law.
  5. Give four advantages of the rule of law.


Read on Civil Societies in Fundamentals of Civic Education for Senior Secondary School by Sola Akinyemi.


  1. A non-governmental organization that manifests interest and will of citizens is known as _____ (a) civil defence (b) civil society (c) civic education
  2. All are parts of civil societies except (a) professional association (b) private organization (c) government institutions
  3. Another name for civil society is ______ (a) NGO’s (b) AIT’s (c) NFA’s
  4. All are parts of activities of civil societies except (a) advocacy for citizens (b) empowering the less priviledge(c)constructing express roads.
  5. One of these is a factor that promotes civil society (a) voluntary participation of citizens in social groups (b) government restriction of associations (c) an environment that disobeys rule of law.



  1. How can civil societies help to influence the result of a general election?
  2. Highlight two benefits of civil societies in a country such as Nigeria.

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