Cooperation Strategic Program Portugal - S. Tomé and Príncipe – a new generation of programs
The development cooperation policy is a key vector of the Portuguese external policy, based in a general consensus between the main political forces and civil society, aiming at the poverty eradication and the sustainable development of partner countries, in a context of respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
The design of the cooperation policy takes into consideration new national and international opportunities and challenges, as well as commitments internationally undertaken. It must be in line with and be essential to national interests and respond in an effective and structuring way to objectives and priorities of partner countries.
Cooperation must be understood as an investment and not as an expense, as development and not just aid, which must complement and reinforce other aspects of foreign policy, namely economic diplomacy and external cultural action, to the benefit of both sides. It’s based on a model of decentralized management and framed in the Strategic Concept of Portuguese Cooperation 2014-2020.
This is the first Cooperation Strategic Program of the new generation to be signed, having as guidelines the priorities of the government of S. Tomé and Príncipe and is a result of the negotiation between the 2 countries according to the needs identified by STP.
The Program has a logical continuity in what are the Portuguese cooperation gains: education, training and culture; health and social affairs; finance, justice and security. It integrates also areas such as energy, environment and finance.
Interventions in each of the areas contribute for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the program will invest in projects and actions with greater scale and potential impact to the country.
The promotion of gender equality, the support to the most vulnerable groups and to the civil society remain as cross-cutting objectives. A particular emphasis will be given to the promotion of partnerships with other actors, public and private, national and international in particular with the private sector, NGOs, civil society.
This is the first Cooperation Strategic Program of the new generation to be signed, having as new guidelines the alignment of interventions with the priorities of the partner country and the achievement of the sustainable development goals. It follows a result orientation and accountability rationale, with regular common monitoring and evaluation. This way the intention is to contribute to a gradual sense of ownership of the partner country regarding the different areas in a framework of sustainable development. The new programs also want to reflect an integrated approach to different support schemes, including loans and credit lines in a complementarity rationale.
The program includes the following priorities: Education, Training and Culture, Health and Social Affairs, Justice and Security, Energy and Environment and Finance.
Education, Training and Culture are considered fundamental vectors in every country development process, constituting an important feature in the fight against poverty. The development of human capital through the qualitative and quantitative improvement of education at all levels is essential to meet the challenges of sustainable development with multiplier effects in other areas of development. This cooperation provides programs, projects and actions in different cultural areas such as the reinforcement of reading access through the technical support to school libraries, collaboration in the framework of the common archives heritage or technical support in areas associated to historic heritage and the revitalization of the national culture.
According to international good practices, the identification of the projects and its formulation assures that a relevant project will be supported, consistent with the policies of the partner and the problems to resolve; that the planned intervention will be feasible, producing benefits and managed in an efficient way. The implementation of the projects is done systematically, so that identified problems can be resolved, guaranteeing a total sustainability of each action.
Development cooperation policy:
- Reinforce capacities of the countries and institutions in structuring areas for human development
- Promotes good governance, democracy and the consolidation of rule of law
- Stimulates local economies, promoting economic growth through the reinforcement of the national business sector and the attraction of direct foreign investment that contribute to its growing integration in the global space.
Recognizing the importance of culture to the construction of multicultural societies, with capacity to develop and valorize its cultural specificity in the international level, it’s important to promote heritage and the arts, in its different aspects. Cooperation policy must also be understood as a promotor of partnerships and operation of new projects involving citizens and companies to mutual benefit.
The Cooperation Strategic Program 2016-2020 has a financial envelope for the 5 years of EUR 57,5 million, to be allocated in the priority sectors: Education, Institutional qualification, training and Culture; Health and Social Affairs; Justice and Security, Energy and Environment; and Finance.
From this amount two thirds go to Education, Training and Culture, Health and social Affairs.
EUR 11,5 million will be allocated as loans/credit lines.