People power (and lessons from previous failures) enabled Ugandan environmentalists to save a vital forest from commercial exploitation. This paper examines how African civil society organisations have successfully influenced policy Often, we complain that we lack the time, money and expertise to make any difference about how we are governed. This paper examines some of the strategies and tactics that African civil society organisations (CSOs) have used to influence policy decisions around key governance questions. It points to the value of a well-planned, focused advocacy campaign; bringing in multiple constituencies; tapping into the hopes and values of ordinary citizens; simplifying the message; talking to all who will listen; using a mixture of tactics (from protests and petitions to litigation and media exposure); and the dogged determination to continue.