As the country is still using Zero Aid Budget, the European Union which is one of the international organizations which used to support Malawi’s budget, has promised to engage Civil Society Organisations, Non-governmental organisations and the private sectors in accessing 560 million Euros (almost 300 billion Kwacha) through direct grants, National Authorising Office (NAO) disclosed.
NAO-Support Unit Procurement Officer Francis Gavin Kachale said this during the closing of the potential supplier and grant applicant training for European Union Development Fund which started on Tuesday and ended yesterday (Friday) at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
Gavin Kachale said E.U decided to directly engage these organisations considering that the money will reach the intended beneficiaries as compared (if the money was channeled through) the national budgetary support.
“Malawians will directly benefit from this project since the money will reach them if they follow all the procedures which we have taught them here. They will be asked to submit their applications on the tenders which will be publicised through media, on top of that they will be asked to supply commodities or to offer services…,” he said
He also said NAO- Support Unit which is under the Ministry of Finance has already conducted the training to the people on how they can obtain this fund throughout the country.
“We have been teaching people on some of the elements that would enable them to successfully obtain the grants; last month we were in Lilongwe and Mzuzu and today we are now finishing here in Blantyre. We are very optimistic that if these procedures are followed, everything will be correct,” said Kachale
Asked how other government sectors will benefit from these grants the officer said; “we have also put in place some of the strategies which we cannot disclose as of now but we want to develop the agricultural sector, good governance advocacy and the education sector by improving secondary schools and vocational centres.
NAO conducted the training under the theme Capacity Building Programme on Effective Implementation of European Development fund and European Union Budget Line Programmes in Malawi.
“NAO- Support Unit is representing the government of Malawi through effective joint cooperation between the government of Malawi and the E.U; promoting effective partnership between government and Non State Actors (NSA) and effective project preparations, implementations, monitoring and evaluation just to mention a few,” Kachale concluded.
National Authorising Office- Support Unit was established in 2003 in the Debt and Aid Division under the Ministry of Finance Economic Planning and Development and it was set in order to effectively manage and coordinate EU funded programmes, projects and development aid through identification, monitoring, evaluation and financial management stages of programming.