Project 4/12: Department of Charente Maritime (France) – Urban Municipality of Boffa (Guinea)
For the second time, PLATFORMA has decided to reward the best city-to-city and region-to-region international cooperation projects. Twelve projects have been shortlisted out of 26 applications. Every day, we are presenting one new project (sorted by alphabetical order). This is how the Department of Charente Maritime in France is presenting its partnership with the Urban Municipality of Boffa in Guinea.
«Since 1992, Charente-Maritime Coopération (CMC) has been implementing a decentralised cooperation programme between the French Department of Charente-Maritime and the municipalities of the Guinean prefecture of Boffa. The guiding principle of this programme is to support local authorities to make them drivers of development in their territory, facilitate access to basic services and combat poverty. CMC’s activities have been divided into four programme strands:
1- Institutional strengthening and support for decentralisation
At the institutional level, CMC’s action is based on the training of local elected officials, managers of decentralised services and civil society organisations. The main themes addressed are administrative monitoring, tax development and good governance. At the same time, the authority support programme co-finances school equipment.
2- Support to the grouping of municipalities of the Boffa prefecture
As a reference in Guinea, the intermunicipality of Boffa is active in the field of sanitation, and in the maintenance of rural tracks to connect agricultural areas in order to fight against inequalities aggravated by isolation.
3- Development of a public water utility with EAU 17 and UNICEF
Since 2007 CMC has been supporting the authorities of Boffa to set up a water utility. Today, more than 75,000 people benefit daily from this service, which guarantees them access to drinking water via innovative hydraulic infrastructures. In the process of becoming technically and financially autonomous, the public water utility has developed a complete system of governance at the level of the municipalities.
4- Development of economic sectors
Salt production: set up thanks to a transfer of skills between the salt workers of Charente-Maritime and those of Boffa, the supervision of this off-season production in rural areas offers better working conditions to producers during the lean season, while proposing techniques that are more respectful of the environment (fight against deforestation of the mangrove). These productions also guarantee the necessary supply of iodine recommended by international nutrition standards.
Systemic approach to artisanal fishing: since December 2018, CMC has also entered into a 3-year framework project alongside AFD and UNCDF for the sustainable development of the artisanal fishing sector in Boffa. In the wake of a tax development project, some of the area’s economic potential were found to be under-exploited. This observation spawned the idea of a project to support the fishing industry, with the objectives of contributing directly to the strengthening of food security and the economic development of the area; and of structuring a sector with high fiscal potential, allowing the municipality of Boffa to benefit from the wealth created locally. The project proposes the rehabilitation of a fishing port; the creation of a landing stage to improve access to the island areas; the creation of a modern market; and the training of all stakeholders. A gender approach gives particular added value to this project, which includes specific support for equipment, training and literacy for women fish traders.»