Stabilisation of the local economy in the province of Maniema
Title: Stabilisation of the local economy in the province of Maniema (SELMA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lead executing agency:Ministry of Planning
Overall term: 2015 to 2017
Civil war, violence and a lack of state structures have almost entirely destroyed the education system and economic infrastructure of Maniema Province in eastern DR Congo. The consequences include a sustained level of extreme poverty and a general shortage of educational or economic opportunities, especially for girls and women.
To overcome this situation, the people of the province need access to basic education and professional training, as well as advice on income generating employment options. The national Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy addresses these issues. However, both state and non-state service providers lack the human, financial, technical and organisational resources necessary to fulfil their respective mandates effectively.
Illiterate farmers and artisans in rural areas and the city of Kindu benefit from the improved services provided by state and non-state agencies.
The project conducts activities in three connected areas of intervention:
- Functional literacy. The project supports the provision of basic education services for adult learners in Maniema Province, targeting reading, writing and functional arithmetic.
- Agricultural production. Through the improvement of agricultural techniques and standards, the project seeks to improve local knowledge transfer and production.
- Support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The GOPA Consulting Group has been commissioned to support efforts to increase the professionalism and formal organisation of local artisans.
The consulting firm ECO Consult Sepp & Busacker Partnerschaft supported the implementation of the project in the areas of monitoring and evaluation.
Between 2012 and 2015, the Inspection of Social Affairs (INSPAS) developed curricula for three consecutive levels of literacy teaching, and conducted its own teacher training measures. These courses directly address central topics from the project’s second and third components, ‘Agricultural production’ and ‘MSME support’, but they also handle more general issues, such as gender, health and hygiene. The success rate in the final examinations was 80 per cent on average. Village communities received guidance in the local management of their respective literacy centres. Currently, about 500 adult learners attend literacy courses offered in 15 centres across the region.
In all, 260 farmers, including 112 women, have received advice from the technical authorities responsible for agriculture and rural development, IPAPEL and IPDRAL. Some 56 farmers, of whom 10 are women, have been appointed ‘best producers’, and they now share their knowledge of cultivation with others at the local level. Following the second cultivation period in 2015, almost half of the farmers who had received advice began to apply new techniques for higher yields.
According to a survey in February 2015, 67 per cent of artisans associated with the project were satisfied with the improved services of their guilds and chambers of crafts. Moreover, in cooperation with the sector authority responsible for MSMEs, the seven independently constituted guilds have started offering advisory services that are highly regarded by the artisans.
The project contributes significantly to the local population’s direct participation in the development of Maniema Province.