Friday, August 26, 2011

Gambia's development enhanced by EU

The Gambia has credited the European Union for enhancing the economic development of the country and her people through a number of initiatives the Union has been undertaken under The Gambia-EU Cooperation.

Since the Gambia-EU Cooperation has been growing steadily over the past decades, the EU continues to stand out as one of The Gambia’s principal development partners.

 “The EU has funded huge capital intensive projects in the areas of water supply, transportation, rural development and livelihood enhancement, direct poverty reduction programmes, among others,” Mod A.K. Secka, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, said on Tuesday at the beginning of a nine-day training of stakeholders on the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) procedures held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.

Due to the EU’s huge developmental support to The Gambia, Mr Secka expressed the government’s commitment to strengthening the long fruitful relationship between The Gambia and the EU.

Mr Secka, who is also the deputy National Authorising Officer of the National Authorising Officer Support Unit (NAOSU), said the training, which is funded by the EU, is important in many respects. 

“One of it is that it provides us the opportunity as stakeholders of the Gambia-EU cooperation to engage more closely with a view to comprehending and improving our requirements for implementing, reporting, monitoring and evaluating EU-funded projects that are being implemented or about to start by our various organizations,” he said.

 He told the participants, who are drawn from various government ministries and parastatals, as well as non-state actors,  that the forum can be used as a platform to share ideas, best practices and challenges with implementing organizations.
The training will enhance the capacity of the participants to improve the performance of the Gambia-EU cooperation towards the realisation of the aspiration of the PRSP II, the MDGs and Vision 2020, he said.

The EU delegation representative to The Gambia, Nicola Neuss, in her remarks on the occasion, explained that the EU observes strict rules in managing public finances and encouraged the participants to derive maximum knowledge and benefits from learning the rules and procedures for managing programmes under the 10th EDF.
She said: “Sound procurement and contracting, good public accounting and transparency are important aspects of good governance which can help build the trust between government and its people. This is particularly important in the current global economic situation where people want to know how their hard earned money is being spent by governments.”
The training will exposed the participants to management best practices, programming and financing, procurement of services and works, basic rules applicable to grants, call for proposals, co-financing and others.

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