KIGALI - The European Union (EU) has provided €500,000 to help in the prevention, control and reduction of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the region.
The funds to the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA), are in addition to €3.3 million provided early this year for the first Pan-African Project SALW.
The grant is part of the Africa-EU strategic partnership in the fight against illicit accumulation and trafficking of firearms and explosive materials.
At a ceremony held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Tuesday to mark the signing of a contribution agreement between the EU and RECSA, the EU head of delegation, Ambassador Tim Clarke, said that the event was yet another demonstration of the EU’s commitment to eradicate the illicit trade in arms in the region.
“I am particularly pleased that the key focus of this programme is the civil society as they play a key, and often unrecognised, role. By empowering the civil society within the region, we can tackle the problem at its roots,” he said.
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the effective reduction of illicit SALW proliferation in the Eastern and Southern Africa region by supporting civil society initiatives and national efforts.
RECSA’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Francis Sang, reiterated RECSA’s appreciation for the continuous support his organization receives from the EU.
“The funding will also strengthen the institutional development of RECSA and National Focal Points as well as promote public awareness programmes on small arms and light weapons,” he said.
RECSA is an intergovernmental organization charged with the responsibility of coordinating regional efforts and programmes to combat the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and neighbouring states.