UEMOA, Switzerland deepen co-operation
The UEMOA Commission and the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (SDC) signed, on 8 November 2019 in Abidjan, a new co-operation agreement worth nearly EUR 1 million to complete phase 1 of the programme for local cross-border co-operation (PCTL). Cross-border activities will be conducted in two pilot areas: 1) the Sikasso-Korhogo-Bobo Diaoulasso triangle, a dynamic cross-border area connecting Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali; 2) the Liptako-Gourma area (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger. The goal of the second area is to set up a decentralised cross-border co-operation unit between these territorial entities. A first agreement was signed in December 2016 worth EUR 4.8 million. It allowed for the implementation of two integrated cross‑border development plans, focusing on the coastal strip and the Senegal River. Three pilot investment projects, namely the boreholes of Weleni (Burkina Faso), Loulouni and Nimbougou (Mali), the new road to the Tominian-Kossi health centre, as well as the Terra market will soon be complete. In addition, UEMOA Commission President Abdallah Boureima signed a new co-operation agreement with the R20 Green Fund for Women to better integrate the climate aspect within projects conducted by local actors. This will allow more cross-border initiatives to facilitate access to basic services and strengthen regional integration, including a street children initiative providing support to about 3 000 local authorities within the UEMOA area. Activities will also involve local and regional authorities in implementing projects that integrate climate considerations and boost “green jobs” for the benefit of young people and women. It will also provide general support to the UEMOA in order to mainstream climate concerns and responses from the local and regional levels.