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The respective roles of Administrative Authorities and NGOs in the execution of the PPAO Programme : complementarity or competition ?

(Rôle des Administrations et des ONG dans l’éxécution du PPAO : complémentarité ou concurrence ?)


01 / 1999

The general outlook of the Regional Programme called PPAO (Programme Régional Valorisation des captures de la Pêche Artisanale en Afrique de l’Ouest, a Regional Programme for the Exploitation of Non-industrial Fishing Catches in West Africa)implemented by ADEPA (Association Ouest Africaine pour le Développement de la Pêche Artisanale - West African association for the development of small-scale fishing)since 1994, is based on a participatory approach.

The choice of this type of approach is adequate and even indispensable for two reasons:

* There is an increasing demand for autonomy coming from local populations, which no longer accept that decisions are taken "from above";

* Social partners feel the need more and more to gain recognition for the part they play in development. Such is the case with NGOs, the contribution of which is increasingly recognised. Witness the fact that these NGOs operate within the PPAO as Associated Partners of the Programme and provide, as such, an undeniable support to the trade organisations of the region’s small-scale fishing sector. However, by no means does this involvement on the part of NGOs diminish the important and indispensable function carried out by the Fishing Administrative Authorities in the Regional Programme.

Indeed the fishing administrative bodies played a crucial part in starting off the Programme. In addition to the support given by several specific individual states, the 15 states played a leading part by providing their support and backing (Liberia remained outside the Programme because of its internal conflicts).

This collective support includes:

* The recognition of ADEPA, which is the Executing Agency of the Programme.

* The participation of the Fishing Directors in the meetings scheduled in the programme

* The active presence of the Directors at the level of the Monitoring Committee (its chairman is chosen among one of them).

Notwithstanding the support provided by the Fishing Authorities, the implementation of the Programme’s objectives depends, for a large part, on the political motivation of these Authorities: Are they ready to continue to fully play their part? Given the nature of certain problems which tend to hinder the development of the fishing sector, the Trade Organisations would have difficulties in solving them alone, in spite of the strong level of motivation in the NGOs which co-operate with them. Thus the political commitment of the administrative authorities remains a preliminary and, indeed, a sine qua non condition for their success.

They play such an important part in the process that the Programme has provided them with a budget of 200,000 ECU. Unfortunately, certain Administrative units do not understand how crucial their function is: owing to a lack of information or, perhaps, to their own conservatism, they have ignored the PPAO Programme. Some of them have not hesitated to declare that ADEPA was trying to command them.

This attitude on the part of the Administrative Authorities has paralysed at least one action: at the meeting of Fishing Directors held in Dakar from September 30 to October 2, 1996, ADEPA insisted that the Authorities take responsibility for the credit issue; it even filed a request with the European Union on this matter. We actually heard comments such as: "You won’t make us swallow that kind of stuff again".

But as the Programme unfolded, we realised that we had to inform the administrative authorities in order to help them understand the part they played in the process. This information process has been completed for the following sub-region: Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo. A Conference held in Accra has enabled them to clarify their perception: hopefully, they no longer consider the NGOs or the Associate Partners of the Programme as competitors, but rather as Partners who need their contribution and also have something to offer to them.

A similar type of meeting was also to be held for the Northern Coastal Countries and those which have no coast-line, as part of the Cost Estimate Programme Year II, which has not yet begun.

Unfortunately, the Evaluators which are familiar to the EU authorities have not attempted to understand the dynamic process which had started to unfold. They mainly saw that NGOs were taking the place of the administrative authorities which were thereby loosing their sovereign attributes. This view is even in contradiction with the European Union’s outlook regarding Civil Society.


Afrique de l’Ouest


Mettre la coopération européenne au service des acteurs et des processus de développement


[[Written for the public debate "Actors and processes of the cooperation", which could feed the next Lome Convention (European Union/ACP countries relations). This debate, animated by the FPH, has been started by the Cooperation and Development Commission of the European Parliament and is supported by the European Commission.]


Texte original

ADEPA (Association Ouest Africaine pour le Développement de la Pêche) - Cité Lobatt Fall. BP 958. Dakar, SÉNÉGAL - Tél/Fax. : (221) 854 98 13 - Sénégal - - contact (@)

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