Sao Tome government may privatize foreign aid fund

18 May 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe 17 May – The government of Sao Tome and Principe has said it may privatize its Aid Management Office, a government fund that manages foreign aid, in order to ensure transparency and give the institution credibility, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

According to Justice Minister Justino Veigas, speaking as a government spokesman, the possibility met with the consensus of a cabinet Meeting held Tuesday by Sao tome’s head of state, Fradique de Menezes.

The Aid Management Office (Gabinete de Gestão de Ajudas) is controlled by the government through the Economy Ministry and is almost 90 percent supported by Japan, which annually provides food aid in the form of rice, estimated at US$1.38 million.

In his statement, Justino Veigas, said that “the government even considers the possibility of private management of the Office, if it is confirmed that this method can ensure the transparency and credibility of the fund.”

Veigas also said the government had decided to audit the accounts of the Aid Management Office.

Funds from the Aid Management Office are used for social projects in the country, namely building schools, daycare centers, health centers and roads. (macauhub)