EU Supports Construction Of 100 Junior Secondary Schools - Salone Mirror News

Saturday, 11 May 2019

EU Supports Construction Of 100 Junior Secondary Schools

The Director of the National Authorising Office (NAO), Amy Myers, has said the European Union is providing support for the construction and rehabilitation of over 100 Junior Secondary Schools as part of its support to the education sector in Sierra Leone. 

The Director made this statement while addressing a news conference in celebrating the Europe Day (9th May) at the NAO headquarters, Tower Hill in Freetown, on May 10, 2019.

She said under focal sector two, the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) provides support of Eighty Million Euros (€80) grants under the multi-annual European Union (EU) programme that supports the education sector in Sierra Leone. This intervention is aimed at improving access to high quality learning in Sierra Leone, in line with Government’s education strategy and in the partnership with the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, the Teacher Service Commission (TSC), decentralised authorities and Teacher Training Colleges in selected Districts.

Ambrose James, deputy director, also maintained that the construction and rehabilitation of schools project under the EU funding targets Bo, Kambia, Pujehun and Kenema Districts and were selected based studies conducted in those areas adding that there is also a basket fund for the government education flagship programme, the Free Quality Education programme.

He said the NAO supports the National Authorising Officer in the day-to-day operational activities of coordination and supervision of projects financed by the European Union (EU) through the European Union Development Fund (EDF). The EDF funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration.

Amy Myers explained that EDF is funded through direct contributions from EU Member States. The 11th EDF which usually last for five years, commenced from 2014 to 2020 and that the allocation of funding in Sierra Leone is laid out in the National Indicative Programme (NIP) that was signed in June 2014.

The National Indicative Programming is the decision- making process through which the EU and its partner countries define development assistance objectives, strategies, priorities and funding allocations.

The Director disclosed that Sierra Leone’s 11th EDF envelope amounts to €376 million for programme funds and is subdivided into

Focal Sector 1: Governance and Civil Society (€179M); Focal Sector 2: Education (€80M); Focal Sector 3: Agriculture and Food Security (€60M); Specific Transport Intervention (€43M) and the Cross- cutting: Support measures (€14M).

She said the bilateral cooperation between the Government of Sierra Leone and the EU spans for over forty (40) years and National Authorising Office is a support unit to the National Authorising Officer, which position is a creation of the cooperation agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP).

She said in Sierra Leone the National Authorising Officer is Mrs Nabeela F. Tunis, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development who facilitates the process of development cooperation between the Government of Sierra Leone and the European Union, so that the two collaborate effectively over project implementation.

Myers noted that her role is enshrined in the Cotonou Agreement, which is the framework for EU’s relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP).
The agreement expires in February 2020, but negotiations for a new ambitious partnership with countries are underway.

On infrastructure, EU has funded the construction and rehabilitation of the 100km Bandajuma-Liberia road and bridges which provides for the upgrading of 100km of road between Sierra Leone and Liberia together with the construction of three new bridges which span from the Sewa River, the Waanje River and the Moa River.

The project will improve Sierra Leone’s core road network and open the main gateway to Liberia, restoring a vital link between the countries.

The EU has also provided €40.7 million for the 33km Moyamba-Moyamba Junction road rehabilitation project with four bridges in the Southern province which will improve the road communication system between Moyamba Town and the Masiaka-Bo Highway and will also facilitate access to the South-Eastern districts.

These include one over Gbangbama River, another over Yambatui River, and the construction of two-lane bridges over the Rokel River (Magbele Bridge) and the Ribi River (Mabang Bridge).

On agriculture, the EU support is aimed at increase the policy making capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) to promote sustainable agriculture and food security with support to SLARI for agricultural research; enhance the productivity and profitability of cashew, cocoa and coffee (CCC) farming and to foster sustainable agricultural diversification and ensure for small holders to have fair market linkages.

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