The Open Area
From Charity to Governance: Islamic NGOs and Education in Somalia
Valeria Saggiomo Pp 53-61
What would fill the vacuum that arose after the collapse of the official Somali state apparatus during the 1990s?
This paper attempts to answer this question and suggests that Islamic institutions played their part in exercising local governance
as a substitute to the fragile government structures. In doing so, the paper looks at the role of Islamic NGOs and
charities in providing education services in the midst of a chronic absence of effective state institutions, and reports on the
case of FPENS, a Somali network of Islamic charities, which operates in the education sector.
The paper concludes that, despite of common perception, the Somali charitable sector enjoys a structured organisation and
is able to mobilise local and foreign funds to address emergency responses and stimulate the development of a private social