The European Commission has increased the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) allocation for Botswana.
EU Botswana's spokesman, Bester Gabotlale, has told the media that the allocation for the country under the 10th EDF, which runs from 2008 to 2013, is now fixed at E73 million (about P610 million), an increase of E17 million compared to the E56m originally foreseen.
Gabotlale says the additional funds were agreed on by the EU Commission based on a series of commitments by the Government of Botswana to further improve its achievements in the area of governance.
These include improving court case management, control of corruption, public procurement and finance management, implementing economic reforms, and strengthening support to civil society.
He says the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) and the corresponding National Indicative Programme (NIIP) for the 10th EDF will focus on Human Resource Development, placing emphasis on employment, poverty reduction and HIV/AIDS. The new allocation will be signed before the end of the year.
Paul Malin, the Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Botswana and SADC, says these significant additional resources demonstrate the commitment of the European Union
"They will allow us to expand our budgetary support in human resource development, placing a stronger focus on the fight against HIV/AIDS," he says.
Meanwhile, Malin recently handed over copies of the 2007 Annual Report and the Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Balopi.
The documents, which will be distributed to MPs, ministers, permanent secretaries, development partners and civil society, give an overview of the cooperation between the European Union and Botswana.
The 2007 joint annual report reflects the development cooperation between Botswana and the European Union in 2007 and before.
The Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme, which was signed by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Mompati Merafhe in December 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal covers the period 2008 to 2013.
It sets out planned cooperation activities between Botswana and the European Union.
A total E77.3 million, equivalent to about P770 million, has been allocated for this cooperation in the framework of the EDF.