Non-state actors (NSA) in Botswana are to receive funding of about 65.28 million in pulas through a programme called the Non-State Actors Capacity Building Programme.
The funds came through a joint venture between the government of Botswana and the European Development Fund (EDF).
EDF donated 60 million pula to the programme while the government brought 5.28 million to the table.
The programme is expected to run for four years, starting 2008 and ending in 2011.
The NSA programme consists of two main components, e.g. capacity building and grants.
The announcement was made at the launch for the Large Grant Call for Proposals (LGCFP) from which Civil Society Organizations (CSO) are expected to compete for the ultimate funding.
Through the call for Proposals initiative it is said that funds will be granted to the successful applicants for implementation of large projects.
CSO are now expected to prepare their project proposals and submit their funding applications for up to 500 pula per project.
CSO are to be given two months to prepare and submit applications which will then be evaluated by an evaluation panel.
This scheme comes after the completion of the Small Grant Call For Proposal (SGCFP), which had been launched in April this year.
“Together, the Large Grant and the Small Grant project will create very good opportunities and complementary mechanisms for civil society organizations to implement activities in response to the needs of community members in different parts of the country,” said Sund.
Lena Sund, charge d’affaires from the delegation of the European Union to Botswana and SADC, said the programme, which is financed from the EDF is the main instrument for development co-operation between the European Union and the 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific(ACP) Countries.
According to Sund, the Contonou Agreement, which forms the basis for the EDF, emphasizes the outright importance of the participation of the Non-state actors in the development process as a key principle of the ACP-EU co-operation.
“In agreement with the government of Botswana, an additional 8 million pounds under the 10th EDF for the years 2010 to 2013 has been earmarked to empower civil society, it’s good that the new funding will come in at a time when activities under the current programme are planned to be complemented, creating a ground for building on the experiences to be gained and lessons drawn from the various interventions financed under the grant and capacity building projects,” said Sund
The above initiative is said to be in line with Botswana’s Vision 2016, which also accentuates the principle of government partnership with civil society and the private sector as a key factor in the country’s development.
“Through our support to the NSA capacity building programme, we confirm our willingness to complement our macro-level assistance by supporting non-state actors at grass roots level to respond to development needs,” said Sund.