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Empowerment of Rural Communities

Project for Empowerment of Local Governments and Rural Communities in the Republic of Angola

The Angola civil war, which began after its independence from Portugal in 1975 evolved into a prominent Cold War conflict continuing for 27 years until the ceasefire agreement was reached in April 2002. After the ceasefire, international organizations provided emergency
and reconstruction assistance aimed at promoting the return of the internally displaced, and the reintegration of discharged soldiers back into civil society.

Japanese government agencies have sent project formulation missions on mission peace building from February to March 2003, discussing the possibility of cooperation. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) conducted project formulation study from November 2004 to January 2006 and preliminary evaluation in March 2006. The scope of work was concluded in June, and the Project for Social and Economic Integration and Communities Development (hereinafter referred to as the Study) was conducted from September 2006 to February 2009.

The objectives of the Study were to 1. To formulate a master plan on regional reconstruction and development; 2. To specify a rural reconstruction and development model through pilot projects then, considering the results of the projects determine their applicability in other areas, and integrate them into the master plan; and 3. To disseminate lessons learned from the Study.

During the project, the Team sought to elaborate a development plan that brings an formalized process of participatory development by obtaining the participation of as many interrelated personnel as possible .  This was done so that further on, there would be common and formalized participatory development process agreed to by all.  With this notion, the Team aimed to expand the capacity of public administrative staffs in elaborating a development plan; of NGO’s executing and handling the development projects; and of residents in maintaining and handling the effects of the project. This being the case, this Study was considered to be a good opportunity for the system of the elaboration of a plan to be reviewed and continually enhanced. In this way, the Study Team intended to augment the effectiveness of the plan.