M64 mil­lion project pro­motes di­a­logue

Lesotho Times - - News - Billy Ntaote

THE Deutsche Ge­sellschaft fur In­ter­na­tionale Zusam­me­nar­beit (GIZ) has be­gun rolling out a three-year M64 mil­lion project aimed at cre­at­ing di­a­logue be­tween ci­ti­zens and gov­ern­ment in or­der to con­trib­ute to build­ing a vi­brant and open democ­racy.

Dubbed the Par­tic­i­pa­tory Ini­tia­tive for So­cial Ac­count­abil­ity (PISA), the project is jointly funded by the Euro­pean Union (EU) and the Ger­man Fed­eral Min­istry for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (BMZ) un­der a fi­nanc­ing agree­ment with Le­sotho’s Min­istry of Fi­nance.

PISA Pro­gram Man­ager, Alexan­der Erich this week said the first phase of the project would last un­til May 2019.He said it would be im­ple­mented un­der the slo­gan ‘Boikara­bello ke ba bohle’ which is loosely trans­lated to mean ‘the re­spon­si­bil­ity is for all of us.’

“PISA aims to bring ci­ti­zens and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives to­gether in fruit­ful and con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions about so­lu­tions to de­vel­op­ment chal­lenges,” Dr Erich said at a press con­fer­ence in Maseru this week which was also at­tended by the EU Head of Co­op­er­a­tion Theo Kaspers and Mariam Ho­may­oun, the EU Gov­er­nance Pro­gramme Man­ager.

Dr Erich said the project would be im­ple­mented in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, Min­istry of De­vel­op­ment Plan­ning, Min­istry of Fi­nance, Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment as well as the Na­tional Assem­bly of Le­sotho.

He said they would also part­ner with civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions that in­clude the Le­sotho Youth Fed­er­a­tion, Women in Law in South­ern Africa, Ru­ral Self De­vel­op­ment Agency and the Catholic Com­mis­sion for Jus­tice and Peace.

He said PISA sought to em­power ci­ti­zens in line with their con­sti­tu­tional rights “to par­tic­i­pate in pub­lic af­fairs”.

“We are look­ing to sup­port a vi­brant so­ci­ety and democ­racy in Le­sotho where ci­ti­zens are in­formed about their rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties; about gov­ern­ment poli­cies and ini­tia­tives and about how they can par­tic­i­pate in pub­lic life about is­sues that af­fect them,” Dr Erich said.

He also said the project was also in line with the coun­try’s own Na­tional Strate­gic De­vel­op­ment Plan (NSDP).

“The NSDP clearly stip­u­lates that a civic ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme shall be es­tab­lished in Le­sotho. In that sense PISA re­sponds to that call in the NSDP,” he said, adding the project would be im­ple­mented around three ar­eas, called re­sults ar­eas.

“We want to sup­port civic ed­u­ca­tion that in­forms and ed­u­cates ci­ti­zens of all ages, through­out the coun­try about the demo­cratic pro­cesses, about their rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and about how they can par­tic­i­pate in pub­lic life.

“On the other hand, we will also work with lo­cal gov­ern­ment struc­tures to use par­tic­i­pa­tory ap­proaches to en­gage with the ci­ti­zens and to have a fruit­ful di­a­logue.

This will bring us to the third area, where we seek to bring to­gether ci­ti­zens and elected of­fi­cials in a con­struc­tive di­a­logue. That is ac­tu­ally the main man­date of PISA,” he said.

He also said that PISA would have “a pres­ence in all the 10 dis­tricts and there is go­ing to be a PISA cen­tre that will be open to the pub­lic, with a li­brary, free Wire­less in­ter­net and also a space for ac­tiv­i­ties like work­shops, train­ings and events”.

He said they would also run a me­dia cam­paign “with mes­sages on ra­dio, bill­boards and in line with our slo­gan that re­spon­si­bil­ity is all with us”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.