Norway to Their Rescue


Norway Boosts African legal Support Facility Fund with $4.9 million. The contribution is to help countries negotiate better contract terms for the exploitation of their natural resources

NORWAY is helping African countries to turn resource curse into a blessing by contributing $4.9 million dollars to African Development Banks’s Legal Support Facility which help the countries to negotiate better contract terms. It is also helping African countries, which have natural resource like crude oil and diamonds to strengthen their capacity for negotiating contracts. Norway is doing this by supporting the African Development Bank’s African Legal Support Facility, ALSF, with a contribution of NOK 30 million (approximately $4.9 million). This is a core contribution towards the ALSF 2013-2014 work programme.

“Norway is seeking to help turn Africa’s ‘resource curse’ into a ‘resource blessing’ by supporting the negotiation of better contract terms. The aim is for the countries to strengthen their own revenues and economies, and in the long term, for them to be able to manage without aid,” declared Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås, Norway’s minister of International Development, when he signed the agreement for the support in Oslo, with Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank Group, AfDB, on August 29.

Heikki Holmås

“This work also enhances financial transparency surrounding contracts which are crucial to be able to uncover and stop illicit financial flows. Every year, ten times as much money disappears out of developing countries through illicit financial flows as is received in the form of aid and development support,” he said.

Norway provided NOK 768 million ($125.63 million) support to the African Development Bank in 2012. The Bank Group’s Strategy 2013-2022, which focuses on inclusive growth and transition to green growth, is consistent with Norway’s development policy priorities, as set out in the country’s recent white paper on fair distribution, sharing for prosperity. The strategy also identifies fragile states, agriculture and food security, and gender as areas of special emphasis.

The ALSF is an international organisation established by African governments to assist in the negotiation of complex commercial transactions, vulture fund litigation, and capacity building. By supporting the ALSF, Norway will be assisting African governments in balancing the playing field in contract negotiations and vulture fund litigation. In particular, the ALSF assists the governments in completing complex negotiations related to the extractive industries and supporting infrastructure. The interventions of the ALSF ensure fair and balanced contract negotiations which serve as a foundation for transforming natural resources into sustainable and inclusive growth. Currently, the ALSF is supporting projects in 20 African countries with pending requests from more fragile states seeking to maximize the benefits of their natural resources.

— Sep. 16, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

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