On request of Ms. Maureen O’Sullivan, Mr. Theo Kralt, Chief Administrative Officer of AWEPA paid a visit to the AWEPA Irish Section and to Irish Aid on 6 and 7 February 2013 in Dublin. The aim was to sign the new Irish Aid-AWEPA 2012-2015 contract and to reaffirm the strong ties.
On 6 February 2013 Mr. Kralt gave a presentation to the Irish Section which was attended by around 15 members. In the presentation he gave an update of AWEPAs policies, organizational and financial affairs and the importance of continued support by IA for AWEPA’s role in supporting democratic processes in Africa.
On 7 February 2013 meetings have taken place with Irish Aid represented by Dr. Vincent O’Neill, Director of Policy, Planning and Effectiveness, Mr. Dónal Cronin, Development Specialist and Hon. Maureen O’Sullivan, Hon. Olivia Mitchell and Mr. Simon Murtagh of the Irish AWEPA Section together with Mr. Kralt. On behalf of the Irish Section of AWEPA Hon. Maureen O’Sullivan emphasized the importance of interactive Parliamentary participation from both the African Parliamentarian and the European Parliamentarian side in relation to the Aid Effectiveness part of the programme for Mozambique and Tanzania.
Mr. Dónal Cronin emphasized the trust Ireland and IA have in AWEPA which is expressed in the contribution for AWEPAs Core Funding. He expressed his hope that AWEPA will develop to become the key player for the support of democratization and parliamentary processes in Africa. He also expressed his wish for a meeting of the donors which provide AWEPA with Core Funding: the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and Irish Aid. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), provides AWEPA with institutional support. In a meeting with Hon. Maureen O’Sullivan, Hon. Olivia Mitchell, Mr. Dónal Cronin, Dr. Vincent O’Neill and Mr. Simon Murtagh the new Memorandum of Understanding 2012 – 2015 between IA and AWEPA and the programme ‘Strengthening the Core Functions of AWEPA and Increasing Parliamentary Oversight of Development Policies and Processes 2012 – 2015’ was officially signed by Mr. Joe Costello, Minister of State for Development and Trade to mark the signing of the new Irish Aid –AWEPA Agreement (it was already signed on November 26 and 21 2012 by Dr. Vincent O’Neill and Hon. Maureen O’Sullivan).
Minister of State Costello spoke about having been an enthusiastic AWEPA Member and showed a keen appreciation of AWEPA’s work, not least of the new Aid Effectiveness-Joint Monitoring Team concept, which he hoped would significantly improve international levels of parliamentary accountability for development effectiveness in the post-Busan context.