BRUSSELS – International donors have pledged over one billion Euros for Guinea-Bissau to support a 10-year development plan aimed at giving the country a new start after prolonged political instability.
The European Commission’s development department said this in a report issued on Thursday in Brussels.
It said that the total fell short of the 1.8 billion dollars the West African nation was seeking to finance the 115 projects in its 2015 to 2025 plan.
Donors attending a Brussels conference hosted by the European Union endorsed Guinea-Bissau’s development strategy also pledged over one billion Euros of financial support for achieving its goals.
“Every effort must be deployed so that Guinea-Bissau will no longer be a burden on the international community.
“Instead it will become an example to be followed,’’ Guinea-Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz told the conference.
The EU, which recently ended curbs on aid to the country imposed in 2011 after a military mutiny, pledged 160 million Euros.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
Guinea-Bissau’s finance minister, Geraldo Martins, also said the development plan would help the former Portuguese colony of about 1.7 million people to attract tourists and investors.
Since Guinea-Bissau won independence in 1974 no elected leader has completed a five-year term.
Amid rampant corruption and weak state institutions, it became a transit point for Latin American cocaine destined for Europe, earning the country the reputation as West Africa’s first narco-state.
Martins said a 2014 election, two years after a 2012 military coup, gave the cashew-exporting nation the chance to make a clean start, with support from foreign partners.
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According to government and International Monetary Fund statistics, Guinea-Bissau’s economic growth is expected to hit 4.7 per cent in 2015, up from 2.6 per cent in 2014. (Reuters/NAN)