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€140 million released to support development in Guinea

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Image-from-the-stunning-Papua-New-Guinea-yacht-charter-destination-welder-dancersThe European Commission has released almost €140 million to finance five development projects for the Republic of Guinea. Following inclusive and peaceful elections held on 28 September 2013, the European Union was able to resume full cooperation with the country and release the funds from the 10th EDF (European Development Fund) (2008‑2013).

The funds will be used to support the government's efforts in promoting good governance, protecting human rights and improving mobility and road infrastructure.

"The European Union is committed to supporting the Guinean Government's efforts in finding its way back to sustainable and fair growth. The success of the projects planned for the benefit of the population is guaranteed by the strengthening of national capabilities and a participatory approach," said Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

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Piebalgs and Kerfalla Yansane, the Republic of Guinea's state minister for economy and finance, formally signed five projects in Brussels on 27 January.

Support Project for the Transport Sector (PAST): The objective of the PAST project (€83 million) is to provide sustained improvement to the level of service of the road network, to promote reform of the rules and organisation of road transport and to integrate land-use and town development considerations in policy-making and transport planning.

This project will also make it possible to upgrade the national road network between Kissidougou and Guéckédou, thereby opening up the forest region, which is one of Guinea's agricultural and mining hubs.

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Programme to support justice sector reform (PARJU): The PARJU programme (€20 million) supports the government's efforts in promoting democratic principles and respect for human rights, in particular as regards justice and the fight against impunity in the Republic of Guinea. Among other things, it will enable access to a high-quality public service in the field of justice and reform of the prison system.

Programme to support reforms in the security sector - strand 2: This programme (€15 million) is the second strand of the PARSS. Its main objective is to support the Government's efforts with regard to consolidating the rule of law, governance, promoting democratic principles and protecting human rights. The programme aims, in particular, to help set up and maintain a peaceful social, economic and political climate by improving the country's security.

Programme to support the Reform of Public Finances (PARFIP): The objective of the PARFIP programme (€12m) is to contribute to improving economic and financial governance. The programme will make it possible to strengthen the State's financial 'accountability' system, improve internal revenue and strengthen the institutional capabilities of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance.

Programme of sectoral support to decentralisation and devolution (PASDD): The objective of this programme (€10 million) is to bring the State's services closer to citizens by supporting the implementation of the 'Lettre de Politique Nationale de Décentralisation et de Développement Local' ('National policy letter for decentralisation and devolution') and its action plan, and by promoting local democracy.

Background

Co-operation with Guinea had been suspended following the coup in December 2008 (except for humanitarian and emergency aid, direct assistance to the population and measures to accompany the democratic transition).

Following the 2010 presidential election, the road map for emerging from the crisis was amended and the European Union gradually resumed its cooperation with the Republic of Guinea by releasing the balance of the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) and emergency funds.

After the Independent National Electoral Commission sent a detailed timetable for holding legislative elections, the European Union and the Republic of Guinea signed the Country Strategy Paper and the National Indicative Programme (NIP) of the 10th EDF on 21 December 2012 in Brussels and released additional funds for direct assistance to the population (in the sectors of water, health and support to civil society) for a total of €34.4 million (which is 20% of the NIP).

The balance of the 10th EDF National Indicative Programme (€139.9m), which had been frozen for several years, was released following the inclusive and peaceful legislative elections held on 28 September 2013. Resuming these projects has meant that it has been possible to put the whole of the 10th EDF allocated to Guinea to use: €174.3m in programmable aid and €61.5 million in emergency aid.

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Development

Kazakh president sets out five priorities for #Kazakhstan’s 'Third Stage of Modernization' 

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In his annual address to the nation, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernization”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.

The five priorities are: Acceleration of technological modernization of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.

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President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.”

He added: “This modernization is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”

The Head of State also instructed the Government to developa package of measures for the technological re-equipment of basic industries by 2025.

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The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plansto increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has proposed a constitutional reform aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan. During a special televised address to the nation on 25 January, the President announced a number of functions that would be transferred either to the Government or Parliament. Public discussions on the proposed constitutional reforms will take place for the next month, concluding on 26 February. After this, the reforms will be presented to Parliament.