The signing of the agreements represents the culmination of the current contracting cycle for the European Development Fund (EDF), the 11th and “addresses three major issues: support for the private sector, the government itself and civil society”, stressed the minister of Economy, Sérgio Santos who initialed the agreement in Luanda with the director of the European Commission for Central and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, Francesca di Mauro.
Sérgio Santos stressed that the Government "is reforming the private sector to play a role in promoting economic development", having chosen two lines with regard to exports: coffee and tropical fruits.
"For this, the sector needs support", in order to improve productivity and introduce more environmentally sustainable techniques, he said.
The private sector development program, worth 12 million euros, lasting five years aims to improve the performance and growth of the coffee value chain as well as the inclusive use of financial services.
Regarding the program of support to civil society in local governance, in the amount of six million euros, lasting two years, according to the minister, he intends to “implement projects related to dialogue with civil society, through social consultation councils, professional associations and others”, improving social inclusion through effective citizen participation.
Another project to support safety and quality standards, with a financing of five million euros, is aimed at promoting compliance with safety and quality requirements, including sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues and introducing regulatory reforms to improve the business environment .
Asked about the mechanisms for controlling the use of funds, Sérgio Santos said that they are ensured through the coordinating bodies that develop the implementation of the programs, at ministerial level, of the European Union delegation and of the teams allocated to each project.
“There is a whole set of instruments from the European Union that are very rigorous”, he underlined, although he acknowledged that “there are still problems”.
The official added that there have already been cases of “inappropriate use” of funds, but “the climate that is being created in Angola is one of reducing events”, such as corruption and mismanagement of funds. "Therefore, we are sure that these mechanisms will reduce the misuse of funds", he concluded.