Taking journalists through a power-point presentation, Amy Myers, Director of NAO explained the work of NAO and the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme for Sierra Leone. She spoke on the focal sections and additional interventions namely Focal Sector 1: Government and Civil Society; Focal Sector 2: Education and Focal Sector 3: Agriculture and Food Security. She also spoke on Specific Transport Interventions; citing the Moyamba-Moyamba Junction roads and bridges’ rehabilitation project; the Bandajuma-Liberia Border Road and bridges rehabilitation project in targeted areas around the country.
She further informed journalists that the NAO 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, adding that the role of the National Authorizing Officer is enshrined in the Cotonou Agreement.
She went on to state that the EDF was created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome and launched in 1959. The EDF is the EU’s main instrument for providing development aid to ACP countries and to overseas countries and territories (OCTs). It is a multi-annual assistance to the ACP, and it comes in five or more yearly cycles. The current cycle is the 11th EDF. The EDF funds cooperation activities in the fields of economic development, social and human development as well as regional cooperation and integration.
According to her, the National Indicative Programming is the decision-making process through which the EU and its partner countries define development assistance objectives, strategies, proprieties and programmable funds, subdivided into: Focal Sector 1: Governance and Civil Society (179M Euros); Focal Sector 2: Education (80M Euros); Focal Sector 3: Agriculture and food Security (60M Euros); Specific Transport Intervention (43M Euros) and Cross-cutting Support Measures (14M Euros).