Is the EU Trust Fund for Africa failing to involve local governments?
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which was launched one year ago with the objective of addressing the so-called “root causes” of migration, is working at full speed. Out of the original €2.5bn of the Trust Fund, €1.5bn have already been committed to 106 projects in the three targeted regions: North Africa, Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
However, the involvement of local governments in the implementation of the Trust Fund is unclear. The funded projects are mostly being implemented by a combination of international organisations, big NGOs, and Development Agencies from EU Member States. Although it is possible for these actors to subcontract implementation to local governments or community-based civil society organisations, there is no data yet in this regard. It is therefore of crucial importance that the European Commission gathers this information so as to know the extent of local actors’ involvement and the accessibility of the funds.
Moreover, the Operational Committees in charge of adopting the projects are dominated by national authorities from the EU and partner countries. National and regional associations of local governments should also be represented alongside national governments in order to better assess the impact of proposed projects at the local level.
In May 2016, PLATFORMA published its position paper on the EU Trust Fund for Africa to advocate for stronger local ownership.