A.C.P. Secretariat mobilises $12-billion in resources for members
The Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (A.C.P.) States has mobilised more than €4 billion Euros ($12 billion tala) for projects in A.C.P. countries, including Samoa over the past six years, according to its Assistant Secretary-General, Viwanou Gnassounou.
“We have projects in every area including private sector developments, climate change, trade, natural disasters monitoring, prevention,” Mr. Gnassounou said in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“The A.C.P. Secretariat mobilises resources from the development partners’ main one being the European Union (E.U). Over the period of 2014-2020, we have mobilised from the E.U. €23 billion Euros ($69 billion tala).
“Out of that €23 billion Euros, €20 billion Euros ($60 billion tala) have been directly allocated to [... individual countries]. That is the main vehicle of cooperation between the E.U. and each individual country.”
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (A.C.P.) is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states and was inaugurated following the Georgetown Agreement of 1975.
Mr. Gnassounou said part of the money is given to the regional organisations of the A.C.P. countries, such as the Pacific Islands Forum for the Pacific, to manage directly for the regions.
“We return at A.C.P. Secretariat level about 10 percent for projects like fisheries for the benefit of all countries potentially," he said.
“Out of this 10 percent we just keep a small amount for the running of the secretariat. We have to mobilise to also facilitate the work of the secretariat and also to reduce the contribution of member states.”
He explained the €40 million Euro grant programme launched by the A.C.P. Fisheries Ministers on Friday is one part of the broader €4 billion Euro grant.
“We have a €35 million programme for preservation of marine biodiversity in the Small Islands Developing States.
“Before the Paris Climate change conference, we helped many countries develop their nationally determined contributions (N.D.Cs), and now we are in the process to help them update them, because many of those N.D.Cs were done in a hurry to meet the Paris deadline.
“Participation to the World Traded Organisation discussions, we are also helping countries to do that, now that Samoa is willing to join the E.P.A., we are helping them by making sure there is available technical assistance.”
Samoa’s Minister for Fisheries, Lopaoo Natanielu Mua, said Samoa has benefited from the Secretariat both directly and indirectly over the years.
“So that it is true we have been benefiting from funds that indirectly come from the European Union through other organisations such S.P.C.," he said.
“There have been direct placements before but I haven’t been kept updated on that as that was before my time.”
The 6th A.C.P. Fisheries Ministers meeting concluded in Apia on Friday.
The Ministers passed a resolution which is to be tabled with the Secretariat determining the organisation's priorities for fisheries and aquaculture.
The outcome of the meeting was covered in nine thematic areas, which included climate change, sustainable development, strategic planning, conservation, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing, issues with project funding and also coastal/inland fisheries and fishing methodologies.
Minister Lopaoo revealed the Samoa Government already have a €3 million Euro ($8.77 million tala) project proposal already submitted to the Secretariat of the A.C.P. Ministers in Charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture examining the community-based development of quaculture involving clams, vaga and kuikui and also the se’a and limu.
Ghana is set to host the next ministerial summit in 2021.
The Cotonou Agreement, also known as the "ACP-EC Partnership Agreement" connects A.C.P. member states them to the European Union. The bloc is composed of 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.