Ownership is vital

In decentralisation 'ownership is vital'. If aid is decentralised, initiatives must come from the South and Inter-regional cooperation is vital.

Last year, there was insufficient dialogue with local authorities concerning decentralising development aid. During the EU DevDays, held in Brussels in November 2010, participants an opportunity to discuss this issue in depth.

There is now a trend towards decentralising aid to the towns and cities. However, if aid is decentralised, "ownership is vital". There is a larger complexity of the information that the European Commission requires prior to any agreement on project funding.

Angelo Baglio, Head of Unit, EuropeAid Cooperation Office, European Commission, agreed on this point, but argued that taxpayers’ money had to be safeguarded and fully accounted for. Initiatives must come from the South, but it is not always easy to express the requirements in terms that the European Commission expects. Inter-regional cooperation is vital in Europe and Africa can learn from that.

Published on 1 March 2011