National Authorising Office outlines gains of EU-Funded Projects
By Lawrence Williams
The National Authorising Office (NAO) is a support unit to the Office of the Minister of Planning and Economic Development that facilitates development cooperation between the Government of Sierra Leone and the European Union (EU). This office oversees the implementation of EU-funded projects under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement signed between 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union.
Under the Cotonou Agreement, the EU, through the European Development Fund (EDF), provides development assistance to the ACP countries in the fields of economic development, social and human development and supports regional cooperation and integration, amongst others.
The EU’s development assistance to the ACP countries, according to Army Myers, Director of the NAO, comes in cycles and in two folds: (1) the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for individual member states and (2) the Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) for countries that occupy a specific region. She said under the 11th cycle of the EDF, Sierra Leone attracted the sum of 376 million Euros as funding allocation to support Government priorities in four key sectors namely: Education, Agriculture, Governance and Civil Society and Transportation. She added that under the 11th EDF programme, 14 million Euros is directed to supporting cross-cutting measures and interventions.
She said out of the 376 million Euros, 80 million was allocated to supporting quality education in Sierra Leone in line with the Government’s Free Quality Education Programme, and in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, the Teaching Service Commission, decentralized authorities and Teacher Training Colleges in selected districts.
She said 60 million is being used to enhance the productivity and profitability of cashew, cocoa and coffee and to support agricultural research through the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI).
In the area of governance and civil society, she said 179 million is being provided as direct support to strengthen democratic systems and processes and improving public service delivery. Mrs. Myers noted that the EU provided direct support to Government for implementing the civil registration exercise and for decentralizing functions to local councils.
She stated that 43 million Euros is currently being used to fund road infrastructure projects in the country. She cited the Bo/Bandajuma-Liberia road project, the rehabilitation of 33km road linking Moyamba Town to the Masiaka-Bo highway, and the construction of bridges over the Rokel, Sewa, Waanje and Moa rivers as critical intervention projects supported by the EU.
Source: Fritong Post Newspaper Tuesday May 14th, 2019.