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Cameroon Receives FCFA 500 Million For Governance Promotion 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

The European Union, EU, has offered FCFA 500 million to some 30 Civil Society Organisations, CSOS, in Cameroon to promote governance in the country.

The EU handed over the grant through the Civil Society Strengthening Programme, better known by its French acronym as PASC. It was for this reason that PASC recently signed a contract with some 30 CSOs in Mbalmayo in the Nyong and So’o Division of the Centre Region. By virtue of the agreement, the 30 CSOs from the ten regions of the country will carry out 30 projects selected from the 192 submitted recently.

PASC officials hinged their selection criteria on pertinence, efficiency, feasibility, sustainability, gender approach, cost and the impact of the projects on the targeted groups.

While signing the agreement with the organisations, the Executive Scribe of PASC, Bertin Lukanda, urged officials of the NGOs to use the funds judiciously so that they can have a positive impact on the people. 

To him, the EU money should be used only for the projects for which it has been allocated in order to accelerate the fight against poverty and enhance governance. He urged them to act as the real engines of participatory development in the execution of the projects.

Lukanda said the 30 projects that PASC scrupulously selected from the ten regions are in tandem with the Government policy of accelerating socio-economic and political development in the country. He warned the beneficiaries to defy all odds and execute their projects meticulously by way of efficient and transparent management of funds.

For his part, the representative of the EU, Maxime Montagnier, described the 30 NGOs as indispensable stakeholders in democratic governance and the wellbeing of Cameroonian citizens.

 He urged them to marshal the aspirations of the people they represent by executing their projects well. While reminding the NGOs of the enormous responsibility they shoulder, Montagnier said the EU was eagerly waiting for the results of their work in ten months. He cautioned them to collaborate with the administration and the local authorities in the execution of their projects. The EU priority, he said, was to reinforce civil societies and contribute in the improvement of governance. He said they are also fighting to ameliorate dialogue between CSOs and the authorities.

Prior to the signing ceremony, PASC brought together representatives of the 30 beneficiary organisations in a training and information workshop. According to PASC officials, the workshop was to brief beneficiaries on the stringent management of funds and the judicious execution of their projects. Lukanda said PASC gives money to organisations and teaches them how to use it well.

 One of the participants, Alphonse Abanda, from the Cameroon Baptist Convention, CBC health services, said his organisation got FCFA 90 million from the EU deal. “The CBC Health Services is required to use the money to extend health services to the Lake Nyos area, which was affected by the gas disaster that claimed close to 2000 lives in1986,” he explained. He said he was happy they were not only given money, but taught how to manage it.

The Limbe-based Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation took home FCFA 15.6 million from the EU grant. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Christian Tanyi, their project is pegged on “improving citizens’ participation in the registration and operation of cooperatives in conformity with OHADA laws.” He said their project is aimed at making sure that people who want to transform their Common Initiative Groups into cooperatives can do so conveniently. Tanyi said he was not only taking money, but skills on how to manage it.

The coordinator of the Association for Creative Teaching for Rural Women and Youth, Yaah Wendy Losha, received FCFA 18.784.920 from the EU. She told The Post that they would, in partnership with municipal councils, use the money to fight against the exploitation of rural women by middlemen.

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