MAPUTO, The European Union has granted Mozambique 39.5 million euros (about 47 million US dollars), from the European Development Fund (EDF) for improving access to electricity, supporting reforms in public financial administration, and assisting civil society organizations.

A media statement received from the Delegation of the European Commission in Maputo on Friday quoted the EU Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development, Neven Mimica, as saying: The three programmes adopted today are crucial for reaching the strategic goals of our partnership with Mozambique, that is, to promote democratic responsibility by making the system more reactive and protective of citizens, and strengthening good management of national resources, notably the public finances.

With these programmes, the EU will also help achieve the goal of poverty reduction through measures that are essentially intended to promote participation and accountability, and to intensify sustainable and inclusive economic growth.”

A total of 22.5 million euros of the grant is earmarked for boosting civil society bodies. The statement notes that the capacity of community organizations at local level in Mozambique remains limited.

The EU’s programme to support non-state actors, which began in 2013, is intended to promote dialogue between civil society organizations (CSOs) and the local and national public authorities, strengthening the role and the capacities of the CSOs, improving the relevant legal framework, and helping create conditions favourable to effective participation by CSOs.

Another 10.5 million euros will be spent on preparing energy projects in order to improve access to sustainable electricity at accessible prices, particularly in the rural areas, helping to create conditions that favour private sector investment in renewable energies.

The rest of the grant will go towards reforming the public financial administration. The statement says that, although Mozambique’s public financial systems are regarded as relatively well developed, their impact could be increased through better planning and more effective controls on expenditure.

This programme continues institutional development efforts which began in 2012, and its goal is to improve the transparency, effectiveness and efficiency of public resources, through a focus on better planning and budgeting and on improving the capacities of external audits.