MANO River Union Capacity Building and Technical Assistance for Institutional Strengthening


Overview

  • Reference: P-Z1-KF0-019
  • Approval date: 13/12/1901
  • Start date: 01/01/2002
  • Appraisal Date: 17/02/2011
  • Status: ApprovedAPVD
  • Implementing Agency: MANO RIVER UNION
  • Location: Sierra leone

Description

The Mano River Union (MRU) was established on 03 October 1973, following the signing of the Mano River declaration (Treaty) in Sierra Leone by the Heads of States of Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Union was subsequently joined by Guinea, on 25 October 1980, and later by Cote d'Ivoire on 15 May, 2008, bringing the membership to four.

The Union was established with the vision of promoting economic and regional integration, in particular through trade liberalisation under peaceful and politically stable conditions. However, after recurrent cycles of political unrests, followed by civil conflicts in each of the four countries of the Union, the sub-region is one of the most fragile in the West Africa region. Thus, 36 years after its founding, the economic, social and political conditions in the sub-region together impose a shift in paradigm from the original vision. Today, more than ever, since the founding of the MRU, the populations and leaders of the four countries have come to realise the inseparability and overarching importance of the linkage between peace and economic development.

The Secretary General of the Mano River Union (MRU) Secretariat (the implementing arm of the union) visited the African Development Bank in August 2009 to request for financial and technical assistance for institutional strengthening, among other requests. However, there was no policy framework to support the comprehensive provision of FSF Pillar III resources for technical capacity building for regional economic communities (RECs).

In July 2010, the "Guidelines on the administration of the technical assistance and capacity building program" (ADB/BD/WP/2010/75/Rev.1 and ADF/BD/WP/2010/44/Rev.1) were approved. These guidelines provide the policy framework for the allocation of FSF Pillar III resource to RECs recognizing the role that they play in peace, security and regional integration. In this context, and given the urgency of the MRU request, a grant allocation of USD 876.750.00 will fund urgently needed technical assistance, provide targeted training, and institutional strengthening, as well as organisation of two essential regional meetings linked to peace and security and policy matters under the first phase of the capacity building and institutional strengthening programme.


Objectives

The overall objective of the project is to promote and deepen regional integration amongst the four fragile states that constitute the membership of the Mano River Union, by providing essential institutional strengthening and capacity building support to the MRU Secretariat, in order to enable it to fully carry out its role and mandate of a sub-regional economic community. Special emphasis will be placed

(i) on institutional revitalisation and capacity building, which will enable the Secretariat

(ii) to review policies, facilitate and coordinate the implementation of regional projects in key areas of economic development and regional integration, and

(iii) to play an effective role in maintaining and sustaining sub-regional peace and security. Due to the need for an accelerated revitalisation of the MRU Secretariat, the project is to be implemented under a phased programme, with the first phase expected to be completed within one year.


Rationale

The proposed technical and capacity building project seeks to provide the MRU Secretariat (the implementing organ of the Mano River Union) with urgent capacity building assistance and institutional strengthening, that will enable it to efficiently carry out its important functions of a sub-regional economic community for promoting sub-regional integration, through trade and cooperation in key sectors of the economy, and for fostering sustainable peace and security amongst member states. 11. The proposed FSF pillar III targeted technical assistance is designed to address short term and urgent capacity building needs. The operation was identified through a Bank mission undertaken in September 2009. Due to the fact that the Pillar III guidelines providing the policy framework for support to RECs were only approved in July 2010, the request was only re-submitted in August 2010. The TCB program will strengthen the MRU Secretariat's institutional and human capacity. It will also help the Bank respond quickly thanks to the rapid response procedures of FSF Pillar III. This response will complement on-going Bank operations with MRU while ensuring synergies with that of other donor's who have been providing support for institutional strengthening and social development.

12. Donor-supported programmes include notably the following: The UNIDO/ILO/UNDP Youth Employment Programme which is jointly-funded by the UN agencies and the Government of Japan. The programme aims at addressing the problem of unemployment amongst youths in the sub-region, taking into consideration, in particular, the threat they pose to peace and security noting their participation in recent conflicts. The African Capacity Building Fund is supporting a project designed to train executive senior civil servants in the public sector of member governments of the MRU in macroeconomic policy analysis and management. The UNDP supported project for Capacity Development for Negotiating and Regulating Investment and Trade in MRU Countries. The ADF supported sub-regional HIV/AIDS Programme for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and their Host Communities: This programme which has been acclaimed as a highly, successfully implemented project and a trail-blazer operation for other MRU projects. The MRU has approached the Bank for a follow-up phase. 13. Overall, the proposed program is aligned with the region's priorities. It will help respond to capacity needs for

(i) sub-regional institutional strengthening;

(ii) regional integration and

(iii) the consolidation of peace and security.


Benefits

It will help respond to capacity needs for

(i) sub-regional institutional strengthening;

(ii) regional integration and

(iii) the consolidation of peace and security.

The implementation of the program will lead to

(i) capacity development of staff of the MRU in line with the MRU mandate;

(ii) improvement in operational efficiency of the MRU Secretariat;

(iii) review of sub-regional policies in key areas of economic development and regional integration (mining, trade, investment and trade facilitation) and

(iv) review of the sub regional infrastructure needs to support peace and security.

The proposed technical and capacity building project will result in providing the MRU Secretariat with urgent capacity and institutional strengthening, that will enable it to efficiently carry out its important functions of a sub-regional economic community for promoting sub-regional integration, through trade and cooperation in key sectors of the economy, and for fostering sustainable peace and security amongst member states.


Key contacts

MKANDAWIRE Timothy Blackwell Kausipa - ORTS1


Costs

Finance source Amount
Co-financierUAC 557,357
TotalUAC 557,357