Feb 6, 2009, 4:30 AM
Stakeholders from all walks of life on Monday gathered at the Atlantic Hotel, now Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul where they discussed the mid-term review of The Gambia's 10th European Development Fund (EDF) country strategy and national indicative programme.
The forum, among others, seeks to enable stakeholders share with the EC delegation the information generated so far in the process of the mid-term review of The Gambia's 10th EDF strategy. It also includes an assessment on the side of the ACP states? performance with respect to the programme designed to implement their strategies.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Abdou Kolley, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs stated that The Gambia's strategy and indicative programme was allocated 72 million Euros as part of EC's contribution to the country's development efforts in areas like road infrastructure, good governance, budget support and institutional capacity- building.
According to him, having gone almost half way into the programme cycle, and taking into consideration recent global phenomena that have impacted on every country, including The Gambia, it has been agreed by the parties to the ACP-EU partnership to bring forward the mid-term review of the current cooperation, hence the mid-term review of the 10th EDF in 2009.
He noted that the aim of the mid-term review was to verify whether the respective country strategies are still relevant.
"In the case of The Gambia, I am aware of the fact that the governance commitments we undertook at the time of adopting the 10th EDF strategy resulted to the increased of our initial allocation from 63.2 to 76 million Euros," Finance Minister Kolley said.
He pointed out that the mid-term review will look into our progress made towards the achievements of those governance commitments.
In her introductory remarks, Madam Helene Cave, European Commission Charge de' Affairs stated that the Cotonou Agreement, which was signed in June 2000 and revised in June 2005, is the framework document that guides the cooperation between the 27 EU member states and the 79 African Caribbean and Pacific states.
This cooperation, she added, is implemented by the European Commission built on the experience of 30 years of ACP-EC partnership of the previous Lome conventions with major changes to improve our partnership and accelerate the pace of cooperation.
"It has a political dimension, trade dimension and of course cooperation dimension," she said, adding that the importance of the civil society and participatory approach have been reinforced in the Cotonou agreement.