Saturday, December 12, 2009


The government of The Gambia, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, 11 December 2009, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three institutions; namely the African Development Bank, European Union and the World Bank for budget support delivery for aid effectiveness in The Gambia, at a ceremony held at the Finance ministry's conference hall in Banjul.
The signing MoU officials revealed is to sets a partnership framework for a common approach to budget support, with the main objective to harmonise development partner's budget support programmes within the existing administrative and statutory provision as stipulated in the bilateral financing arrangement with participating partners.
Signatory parties have embraced the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, through alignment and harmonisation agenda. However, in the new MoU, parties agreed to create a common approach to development programming, implementation and evaluation between the government of The Gambia and development partners.
The programmes according to them will also provide direct and non-targeted general budget support for attainment of PRSP II's objectives with a particular focus in the social sector (health and education). According to the agreement document, parties also agreed that the disbursement will be partially linked to the levels of the achievement of agreed levels for selected performance indicators, as well as contribute to the public financial management reform, civil service reform, the revitalization of the groundnut sub-sector and improving road maintenance.
Mohamed H Midouche, Regional Resident Representative based in Senegal, speaking on behalf of his president said the purpose of the budget support is to assist the government of The Gambia in implementing its PRSP, with the ultimate goal of reducing poverty.
The General Budget Support (GBS), Midouche said is about providing funds directly to government, stating that it remains government preferred aid modality. This MoU Partnership Framework is to harmonise development partners budget support programme in reinforcing the cooperation between the government and its development partners so as to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of external aid, while supporting the institutional development of the Gambia.
In the context of the signing of MoU with development partners, he went on, the African Development Bank provides budget Support Grants of UA 4.0 Million including UA 1.0 Million finance under the Africa Food Crisis Response (AFCR), which brings the total Bank Group commitment in The Gambia, net of cancellations to UA 213.8 Million. Midouche then assured his bank's continuous support for the development efforts in the true spirit of partnership.
Madam Meskeren Mulatu of World Bank, representing Habib Fetini, the country director of World Bank, described the signing as yet another step towards strengthening their collaboration with a view to maximising their contributions to the country's effort to bring economic ad social progress.
She stated that , the partnership framework is the result of month dialogue and discussion between The Gambia government and its development partners. Its design began in the aftermath of HIPC complexion, aiming at crafting an instrument that could increase the effectiveness of external aid by supporting a wide range of development and institution building programmes, she said. The second expectation of this Partnership Framework, she continued, will be an important step towards broadening donor assistance by providing a low transaction cost instrument for accessing and delivering development assistance; thus allowing more time for dialogue on policy actions and implementation.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, honorable Abdou Kolley, described the signing as a first step and therefore called on their partners for as much as possible to facilitate the alignment process.
Minister Kolley believes in his own believed sad that the partnership will go a long way in facilitating their work as development partners. Joint missions and joint reviews and the likes will save time and cost. So if we work together, I think there will be any challenge that cannot be tackled, he said, while stating that the rationale behind the budget support programme is to support the government-own growth and poverty reduction objectives as stated in its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) II, by maximising its reliance on country systems and procedures.

No comments: