Ambassador Paul A. Folmsbee Remarks Round Table on Decentralization to Improve Governance in Mali

  • Minister of Territorial Collectivities;
  • Minister of Local Development;
  • Governor of the District of Bamako;
  • Mayor of the District of Bamako;
  • Elected officials from the six communes of the District of Bamako;
  • General Director of the Regional Development Agency of Bamako;
  • Dear guests.

Aw ni Sogoma!

I am very happy to be at this round table meeting which discussed the use of financial resources in order to improve the implementation of the priority activities of the Regional Development Agency of Bamako.

Since 2016, the U.S. government has been supporting the government of Mali’s efforts to advance Mali’s decentralization and regionalization process. Through the Mali Subnational Governance Project (Mali SNGP), USAID has partnered with the Regional Development Agency (ADR) of Bamako as well as all other ADRs throughout the country. SNGP has hired and embedded with each ADR Technical Assistants who are providing technical assistance to boost regional development.

This round table meeting is a culmination of USAID’s support to the ADR in its mandate to provide technical assistance to local collectivities within the District of Bamako. Today’s event is an opportunity for local elected officials to share their development priorities with donors and seek for synergy for the effective implementation of their respective Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plans.

These plans are vital planning tools for the territorial collectivities to be able to address the needs of their communities such as:  the cleaning of gutters and rainwater management, insufficient school infrastructure, poor health facilities, limited employment opportunities for youth to curb youth migration as well as limited number of income generating projects for women and youth, poor drinking water and electricity supply.

We would like to salute the Regional Development Agency of Bamako and the donors for bringing together the mayors of the six communes of Bamako and other stakeholders for this discussion.  Your initiative clearly illustrates the Bambara proverb: Kono kulu jèlen de bè bi fô (flying together, birds can make a big noise).

We encourage all six communes to engage men, women, youth and vulnerable groups in the planning, implementation and evaluation of their development actions. We believe that the activities identified in each of the Economic, Social and Cultural Development Plans are achievable. This is key to increasing participation, achieving transparency, responsiveness, and accountability for an effective local governance.

To conclude, we would like to urge the government of Mali to transfer more resources, especially to fund services to the regional level to advance Mali’s decentralization and regionalization policies and the implementation of the Peace and National Reconciliation Agreement.  We anticipate that local governments will also manage the resources transferred to them in a transparent way in order to meet the needs and concerns of local communities.

Thank you!

Awou ni ché!