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São Tomé and Príncipe’s government commits to strengthened coordination with donors
A major donor coordination meeting on 7 June, 2019 in São Tomé reviewed multilateral and bilateral donor interventions in the country.
The meeting was chaired by Zahira Virani, United Nations resident coordinator in São Tomé and Príncipe, and co-chaired by Hon. Osvaldo Vaz, Minister of Planning, Finance and Blue economy. The African Development Bank Group was represented by Joseph Ribeiro, country manager for Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe. The Bank, the European Union, the World Bank, UN agencies, and representatives of Portugal and the United States all made presentations on their interventions and support to the country. Discussions focussed on donors’ engagement with the government, complementarity and the need for better coordination of each partner’s activities in the country.
The government acknowledged the need for strengthened collaboration and the importance of support from the multilateral and bilateral donors, which represents a major share of the country’s budget.
Ribeiro noted the Bank’s efforts to support the country’s development since it joined the African Development Bank Group in 1977. This included ongoing operations, alignment with the High 5s, the Bank’s country strategy paper (CSP 2018 - 2020) and private sector support.
“Since 1978, the Bank has invested more than $200 million in 57 operations that support several sectors. Now, the country needs to tackle the main cost drivers to improve the economy’s efficiency and to select areas of cooperation with the multilateral and bilateral donors,” he said.
The São Tomé and Príncipe country strategy paper is based on two pillars: supporting the agriculture value chain through energy and water infrastructure; and improving people’s quality of life by improving public finance management. The Bank’s current portfolio comprises four projects and two technical assistance programmes, at around $36 million. The infrastructure rehabilitation for food security support project aims to increase food production by 30% in order to reach 75% of local production by 2020. A payment system infrastructure and financial inclusion project will make financial transactions in the economy easier in order to help with tourism. Another project will help to strengthen public institutions and encourage private sector participation in the economy.
For the remaining period of the CSP 2018 - 2020, the Bank is committed to providing continued support to the country in the energy, water, public finance management and infrastructure sectors. The Bank has also earmarked $13.9 million for a mini-hydro power project to be approved by 2020, which will meet the country’s medium-term needs for sustainable energy.
The development of the São Tomé and Príncipe private sector remains one of the Bank’s mandates, through its various instruments and initiatives such as the non-sovereign operations, Africa Investment Forum and the Lusophone Compact