Tuesday, February 22, 2011

EAC and Finland sign grant agreement worth 2 million Euros to support Lake Victoria basin

ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 22, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)

The East African Community and the Government of the Republic of Finland today signed a Grant Agreement worth two million Euros (€2,000,000) to support the activities on the Lake Victoria Basin during the period 2011 – 2014. The Secretary General of East African Community, Amb. Juma Mwapachu initialed on behalf of the EAC while the Finnish Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Juhani Toivonen did on behalf of the Republic of Finland.

Present at the signing ceremony was the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Hon Beatrice Kiraso and other senior officials from the EAC Secretariat.

The Grant Agreement, which is to be executed by the EAC’s Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), is subject to annual Parliamentary approval in Finland and the two million Euros will be released in three installments with the first one of eight hundred thousand Euros (€800,000) to be made in early 2011; up to a maximum of €500,000 in 2012; and €700,000 in 2013.

At a ceremony held at the EAC Headquarters, H.E. Juhani Toivonen said the signing of the Grant Agreement was a clear indication of Finland’s interest in supporting the East African Community. He said Lake Victoria was the economic engine of the region and was one of the priority areas for Finland’s support to the Community.

Amb. Juma Mwapachu said Finland is a close and dear friend of the EAC for many years and the Community had seen a lot of positive development in the Partnership Fund under the leadership H.E. Juhani Toivonen, who is the current co-chair. He said Lake Victoria was an important and truly shared resource in the EAC and the water mass was one of the major climate influencers in the world.

The Secretary General disclosed that over 35 million people were depending on the Lake as a source of livelihood and therefore any support that goes towards its sustainability was very important not just to the East Africans but also to the whole world.

Amb. Mwapachu hailed Finland for its continued support to the EAC especially to the projects and programmes being undertaken by LVBC.

SOURCE: East African Community (EAC)