The European Union (EU) has released an amount of 833,139 Euros for enhancing the ‘Strengthening Citizen Action’ project in Western and Luapula provinces.
The project is aimed at improving democratic governance, a programme being implemented by the Mansa District Land Alliance, in conjunction with People In Need (PIN).
Speaking in Kalabo during the project launch held at Nalionwa Parish Hall, PIN Capacity Development Officer Nyambe Mwiyambango said Kalabo, Mongu and Limulunga districts have been targeted as recipients in Western province.
Mr Mwiyambango said the three year project which runs until 2022, has also been introduced Mansa, Chiengi and Chembe districts in Luapula province.
He said the project will facilitate interface meetings involving Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and government as well as facilitate community discussion forums on resource governance between duty bearers, investors and beneficiaries.
He added that funding would also go towards airing of radio programmes on good governance and other issues as well as raise awareness among traditional leaders, the clergy and community members.
Mr Mwiyambango further said other activities will include the development, presentation and sharing of policy briefs and papers on democratic governance, rule of law and land governance in line with decentralization and devolution policies.
Speaking at the same function, Mansa Land Alliance Provincial Coordinator Tyson Kalaba disclosed that Luapula and Western provinces have been prioritized because the regions have the highest poverty levels and disjointed CSOs.
Mr Kalaba explained the project’s specific objective has been to increase the capacity of CSOs to create an active civil society and support communities in development and accountability issues.
He said the action has potential to increase technical and operational capacities of CSOs in community engagement, promote and enhance networking, coordination and cooperation in public policy dialogue, formulation and implementation.
He added that CSOs and communities will be empowered to engage policy makers and to effectively influence the formulation and implementation of pro-poor policies.
Mr Kalaba disclosed that 30 targeted CSOs including youths and women organisations will be provided with technical support, coaching and mentorship, in order to enhance their capacity and motivation to become leaders.
And Kalabo District Commissioner Fridah Luhila said the project is well aligned to support the implementation of the Zambian Government’s Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).
Mrs. Luhila noted that government through the 7NDP is committed to creating a conducive governance environment for a diversified economy in line with the theme “Accelerating development efforts towards the Vision 2030 without leaving anyone behind.”
She said it is government’s priority to create an enabling environment for CSOs to play a meaningful role in promoting social justice, freedom, equality, good governance and national development.