THE European Union (EU) Delegation in Tanzania has launched a brochure detailing its envisaged engagement with civil society Organisations (CSO) and local authorities in which it has pledged to make available three million Euros (about 7.4bn/-) for the purpose.
Traditionally, the EU supports civil society organisations in Europe and many countries on the globe. Between 2014 and 2020, the bloc and its member states will provide two billion Euros (about 50trl/-) to CSOs and local authorities worldwide.
The Head of EU Delegation in Tanzania, Ambassador Roeland van de Geer launched the pamphlet jointly with the Head of the CSOs and Local Authorities at the EU Commission in Brussels, Ms Rosario Bento Pais and Executive Director of Foundation for Civil Society in Tanzania, Mr Francis Kiwanga.According to the booklet, the funding will be used to promote private sector employment and economic development. “This programme supports CSOs in particular business associations, organisations promoting business and employment as well as growing stakeholders in development,” read part of the brochure.
Ambassador van de Geer said civil societies are crucial actors that can effectively become more vocal in terms of democracy and governance, both at national and grassroots level.
“The document highlights funding by the EU to the CSOs since we highly appreciate the role of these organisations in fostering peace and reconciliation,” the envoy noted.
For her part, Ms Bento Pais pointed that civil society and local authorities have to be considered as crucial actors of governance. “All development is ultimately local as underlined by the new sustainable development goals (SDGs).
We thus have to put in place enabling environment and proper capacity for them to operate,” the official remarked. Mr Kiwanga said the brochure marks the beginning of EU support as a bloc to civil society organisations in Tanzania.
“It has come at the right time when support for civil society in Africa and Asia has been shrinking during the past few years. We hope this will supplement support by other partners,” Mr Kiwanga noted.
The EU support is expected to encourage the actors to work towards better governance and more participatory development.