Embassy of the United States of America, Niger
For immediate release August 11, 2021
U.S. Government Supports Local Governance in Niger
NIAMEY, NIGER – The U.S. Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Niger, supports Niger’s priority for good governance by funding a five-year $19 million Resilient Governance in Niger project called Jagoranci which means “leadership and governance” in Hausa. The Jagoranci governance activity was officially launched on August 11, 2021, by the Minister of Interior and Decentralization, Mr. Alkache Alhada, and the U.S. Ambassador to Niger Eric P. Whitaker.
The Jagoranci activity strengthens the social contract between the state and citizens, and enhances individual, household, and community resilience in 19 communes in the Maradi, Tillabéri, and Zinder regions. Jagoranci will increase the capacity of communal governments to act as resilient hubs for inclusive local development, bringing together civil society (especially women, youth, and other excluded groups), the private sector, other tiers of government, donors, and stakeholders to support locally defined priorities.
Embassy Niamey’s USAID Mission Director, Jo Lesser-Oltheten said, “A cohesive approach – as is embodied in Jagoranci – is critical to improve local governance and service delivery which helps boost accountability and resilience and reduce vulnerability to violent extremism. This Resilient Governance in Niger activity will help local governments to better respond to community needs while contributing to Niger’s development goals.”
The regions of Maradi, Tillabéri, and Zinder were chosen for the project, because they are particularly vulnerable to threats arising from instability and extremism. By strengthening local governance in target regions, USAID’s Jagoranci will improve recovery and allow the Nigerien people to develop solutions collectively that address their challenges. Jagoranci will enhance officials’ understanding of their responsibilities for communal governance through a focus on peer learning and collaboration to resolve local problems. It will help build the ability of communes to carry out their core functions through action-focused capacity development, peer-to-peer exchanges, and mentoring. Jagoranci will also promote awareness and confidence building among citizens, and support strengthening of Citizen Monitoring Committees, issue-driven coalitions, and learning and advocacy networks.
USAID’s Jagoranci is implemented by a consortium of organizations in Niger led by the American non-governmental organization Counterpart International, in partnership with DAI, VIAMO and local organizations Alternative Espace Citoyen (AEC), Réseau d’Appui aux Initiatives Locales (RAIL) and Initiative Knowledge Research Technical Advisory (IKRA). USAID works in close collaboration with national and local institutions, including the High Commission for the Modernization of the State, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance; Association of Regions of Niger, the Deconcentrated Technical Services; General Directorate of Territorial Communities local authorities, Association of Municipalities and Regions of Niger, civil society organizations, traditional chiefs, and local mediators.
About the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
The Jagoranci governance activity is part of USAID’s annual investment in Niger of approximately $200 million USD (approximately 106.9 billion FCFA), which includes both life-saving humanitarian assistance and development programs.
USAID’s activities contribute to the U.S. Government’s democracy, governance, and human rights objectives and programming designed to strengthen the resilience of communities to violent extremism. It also aligns with axis number four of Niger’s Economic and Social Development Plan of 2017-2021 focused on improving governance, peace and security, and aims to prevent the occurrence of multidimensional crises likely to jeopardize the national prospects for economic and social development.
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work demonstrates American generosity, strengthens local systems and capacity, and fosters partner nations’ commitment to local development and sustainable economic growth.