|Participants - Pix: The Point|
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, according to Nicola Neuss, an EU delegation representative to The Gambia.
“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, said Neuss in her remarks during a nine-day training of stakeholders on the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) procedures held at a local hotel at Senegambia, Kololi.
The training is meant to expose 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 among other financial dealings.
And Neuss noted the EU observes strict rules in managing public finances. On Tuesday, she urged the participants to derive maximum knowledge and benefits from learning the rules and procedures for managing programmes under the 10th EDF.
Over the years, the EU has worked towards enhancing the economic development of The Gambia through a series of initiatives carried-out under The Gambia-EU Cooperation. Hence, the EU remains a critical development partner to the tiny West African nation and the Cooperation has been growing steadily over the years.
When he took his turn, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Mod A.K. Secka said “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”.
The EU’s huge developmental support to the country compelled Mr Secka to note his government’s commitment to strengthening the “long fruitful relationship” between The Gambia and the EU.
“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,” added Mr Secka, who is also the deputy National Authorising Officer of the National Authorising Officer Support Unit (NAOSU).
He told the participants drawn from various government ministries and parastatals, and non-state actors, to use the forum as a platform to share ideas, best practices and challenges with implementing organizations.
The training is expected to enhance the capacity of the participants and improve the performance of the Gambia-EU cooperation towards the realisation of the aspiration of the poverty reduction strategic paper two (PRSP II), the millennium development goals (MDGs) and Gambia’s blueprint development plan (Vision 2020).
Author: Modou S. Joof for The Voice Newspaper