Sommaire: European Commission and the Southern African region discuss the European Development Fund for 2008-2013 (Brussels / Gaborone: 24 February 2006)
The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, launches today in Gaborone, Botswana, the programming cycle for Aid to Development under the 10th EDF (European Development Fund) for the South African Development Community (SADC) region. This second Regional Seminar (the first, covering the countries and regional organisations of the Central Africa region, took place in Brazzaville at the end of January), will be attended by all the fourteen member
countries of SADC.
Based on Commission proposals, the programming exercise constitutes the first concrete step towards the implementation of the EU commitments taken in 2005, in particular, the improvement of co-ordination and aid effectiveness, increase in aid allocations and a focus on Africa.
Speaking at the opening of this second seminar, Louis Michel said: "Today Europe, more than ever, emphasises partnership and political dialogue as the pillars of his Development policy. That is why I come to Gaborone to listen attentively and discuss the priorities of the individual countries and the regional organisation SADC in terms of action for development. At the same time, I expect from our partners a concrete commitment for good governance".
The Regional Seminar on Programming which takes place in Gaborone from 24 to 26 February will bring together the highest officials responsible for co-operation with Europe from the countries of the SADC region: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe and as well as the Chairman of the SADC Council of Ministers and the SADC Executive Secretary.
In December 2005, the European Council adopted a financial envelope for the 10th EDF which comes to €22.7billion for the period 2008-2013. The 9th EDF which covered the period 2002-2007 had been allocated the sum of €13.5 billion.
This Seminar is the second of six, organised up to April of this year, designed to cover all of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific countries. The Regional Seminars will launch the new approach in European policy toward development aid and, for the four African Regions, the Strategy for Africa approved at the end of 2005. Commissioner Michel will attend these seminars and will meet with representatives of the countries and regions concerned.
Good performance and respect for the commitments taken - especially with regard to good governance, sound management of public funds and efficient administration - are key factors for the increase in aid allocations towards each country.
During his stay in the Southern African region, Commissioner Michel will carry out bilateral visits to Botswana (23 February), South Africa (26 and 27 February) and Lesotho (28 February).