With a vision to pre-emptively react to crises and implement sustainable development measures, the ECOWAS Commission on Thursday 14 September, launched the Guinea Bissau interventions under the Fund for Regional Stabilisation and Development in Fragile Regions within ECOWAS Member States (FRSD).
The FRSD is a collaborative programme that seeks to strengthen and stabilize fragile regions within ECOWAS member States by promoting crises resilience and creating sustainable economic opportunities for vulnerable groups, especially women, youth and migrant returnees.
The overall objective of the launch event is to introduce the FRSD project in Guinea Bissau and discuss ways of ensuring project efficiency through a synergetic cooperation that is adapted to local needs. Specifically, the launch aimed to create a common understanding of the project’s scope and objectives per region, among all partners at the global, national and community levels.
Furthermore, it defined roles and responsibilities, as well as communication channels for all partners involved in project’s implementation and provided a platform for synergy with other development partners in the country.
At the event, a symbolic Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) was signed between The ECOWAS Commission, the Government of Guinea-Bissau, and The German Government. It marked the initiation of activities in The Republic of Guinea-Bissau with the spirit that all stakeholders commit to transparency, accountability, efficiency, and overall good collaboration for implementation of intervention measures.
Speaking on behalf of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, the Prime Minister H.E, Geraldo J. Martins expressed his sincere gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission and the Government of Germany for this laudable project that is in line with their national development strategy. He iterated the commitment of the Government of Guinea Bissau in providing adequate facilitation and national level coordination for the success of the project.
In her remarks, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Damtien Larbli Tchintchibidja highlighted that an initial total of 9 million Euros is being envisaged to be invested through the German Government until 2025. Additionally, the ECOWAS Commission has so far invested US$1.4 million as complementary investment to augment the planned interventions of KfW and GIZ, to reach more beneficiaries. These include 16kw solar systems for the regional hospitals of Bafata and Gabu, the supply of rice processing for farmers, supply of brickmaking equipment for young entrepreneurs, as well as the construction of a 66-bed maternity and paediatric facility for the Bafata regional hospital.
“Our ambition is that these complementary investments contribute significantly to strengthening overall and integrated resilience and create sustainable economic opportunities for our target groups” H.E. Damtien Larbli Tchintchibidja.
The FRSD is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The German Government was represented by the German Deputy Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Theodor Proffe and by the Country Director of GIZ Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr. Markus Wagner.