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Cablegate: Fy 2007 Carry-Over Esf Project Proposals:

VZCZCXYZ0014
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUJA #2430/01 3271005
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231005Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1498
INFO RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 0899

UNCLAS ABUJA 002430

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF/W FOR LISBETH THOMPSON
ACCRA FOR USAID/WA OFFICE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PGOV AFIN AMGT PHUM PREL ETRD NI
SUBJECT: FY 2007 CARRY-OVER ESF PROJECT PROPOSALS:
POLITICAL COMPETITION AND CONSENSUS BUILDING; REGIONAL
TRADE AND INVESTMENT

REF: SECSTATE 151653

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

1. (U) SUMMARY: Embassy Abuja supports USAID Bilateral
Mission proposal to use USD 500,000 from AF ESF to help
media, civil society and the National Assembly monitor and
move forward Nigeria's electoral reform process. Embassy
also supports USAID West African Mission proposal to utilize
USD 200,000 of regional ESF to promote regional trade and
investment enabling environment. Both USAID Mission are
coordinating with AID counterparts. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Africa Regional Fund: Political Competition and
Consensus-Building. Amount Requested: USD 500,000.

This request supports MSP and Operational Plan
transformational goal of more Democratic and Transparent
Governance in Nigeria. Accomplishments will be measured
based on acceleration of electoral reform process and through
better general elections in Nigeria in 2011 and improved
process in other special elections before then.

The 2007 Nigerian Presidential, Gubernatorial and
Parliamentary elections were a travesty. Free and fair
elections were effectively undermined by the Nigerian
political elite. Since then, President Yar'Adua has formed a
Committee on Electoral Reforms, composed of eminent Nigerian
citizens, and given it a one-year mandate to make
recommendations to improve the electoral system. The
Committee has been welcomed by the Nigerian population and
the international community. Embassy Abuja believes that the
President must demonstrate his sincere desire for electoral
reforms by sufficiently funding the Committee. Therefore, we
are not/not suggesting that the USG directly support the
Committee. Instead, we propose to have the USAID Bilateral
Mission use ESF to help the media, civil society and the
National Assembly monitor the electoral reform process and
engage with the Electoral Reform Committee in an effort to
effect fundamental changes to Nigeria's weak electoral
system. Using these ESF carryover funds, the USG will
support media events, including talk shows and community
radio programs that address critical issues. USG assistance
will also be provided to civil society groups to assist them
in serving as watchdogs able to engage effectively with the
Committee. Assistance to the National Assembly will ensure
that recommendations of the Committee are vetted and
translated into actions. The intervention will support U.S.
Foreign Assistance objectives by promoting credible, free and
fair elections in Nigeria.

3. (U) Regional Organizations: Economic Growth/Trade and
Investment: Trade and Investment Enabling Environment.
Amount Requested: USD 200,000.

This request supports MSP and Operational Plan
transformational goal of Economic Growth through more
rational and productive trade arrangements and support for
private sector activity in the West Africa Region. Embassy
Abuja has coordinated this proposal with USAID/WA Office in
Accra. The latter will be the implementor, with support from
and liaison with Embassy Abuja and Bilateral AID Mission.
Accomplishments will be measured by accelerated progress on
regional integration, lowering of tariff and non-tariff
barriers, and improvement of the investment and operating
environment for the private sector.

Embassy Abuja supports proposal by USAID/WA to use USD
200,000 in ESF funding two support two Regional Hires as
Economic Advisors within ECOWAS. We are also coordinating
our efforts with the EU, the major donor to ECOWAS, which is
supportive of this initiative. The two Advisors would be
hired and supervised by USAID/WA, but would also have close
liaison with Embassy Abuja, as the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria
is also accredited to ECOWAS, and with the USAID Bilateral
Mission to Nigeria. One Advisor will focus on the Common
External Tariff and related trade issues as spelled out in
reftel. The other would support the ECOWAS Private
Enterprise Initiative. Both Advisors will support the
development of longer-term analytical capacity of ECOWAS
through coaching and development of ECOWAS permanent staff.
We recognize that ECOWAS has not yet fulfilled its mandate
for regional economic integration. Nonetheless, close
liaison with these two Advisors within ECOWAS will enable us
to more effectively coordinate our bilateral diplomatic
efforts towards Nigeria, the largest player in the ECOWAS
region, and such efforts with ECOWAS itself. We will also be


in a strong position to direct other donors in the most
effective use of their funding to move forward the ECOWAS
agenda. We believe that USD 200,000 for these two Advisors
will be a cost-effective investment towards more open and
rational trade, investment and customs regimes in West Africa
while directly supporting expansion of the private sector.
PIASCIK

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