The President of the Special Administrative Region Authority of Oé-Cusse Ambeno (RAEOA - ZEESM - TL), HE Dr. Mari Alkatiri, met on Wednesday morning, January 23, 2019, with the Resident Representative ai of UNDP in Timor Leste, Mr Claudio Providas, to outline and officially sign the work program for the next triennium (January 2019 - December 2021). During the meeting, the UNDP team took the opportunity to recall the work that, in partnership with RAEOA - ZEESM TL, has been developed in areas such as Education, Health, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Tourism and Procurement. Thus, by following a budget of around USD 1 million, the UNDP has allocated a number of specialized human resources to the Region, as well as procurement support, which has enabled savings of more than 20%, on vehicles and computer equipment for the Regional Government.
In the Agriculture sector, newly introduced rice production technology increased local production 136% (from 3 tons per ha to 8 tons/ha). The pilot project will be replicated throughout 2019 in an additional 14,000 ha of land, involving several producers and their respective communities. At the same time, a value chain assessment study has been developed to help determine profitable crops, and within these varieties, which crops should receive investment support, given their potential for income generation for subsistence farming families. Using advanced technology, farmers in Oé-Cusse will have access to genetically improved seeds and training to increase productivity and competitiveness, as well as pedagogical actions to increase financial literacy and management capacities, for both individual and cooperative.
In the Tourism sector, besides the mapping of local attractions, the project has developed brochures with relevant information for tourists and placed signage on selected areas. With the aim of developing the Social Economy, community-specific tourist guides are being formed. Moreover, the Oé-Cusse Business Incubator has supported with financial and technical support. A new workshop for innovation is planned for February 2019. The incubator will also enter a second phase, with more training, more support and a stronger bet on innovation and young entrepreneurs. In order for the continued success of these initiatives, UNDP officials emphasized the important work that is being done by the Region and led by the President of the Authority, Dr. Mari Alkatiri, with the suco chiefs.
Innovative approaches in the preparation of the Regional Development Plan for the next 5 years results in increased citizens participation, evidence and needs-based budgeting and overall a stronger governance at the local level breaking a cycle of dependency and supply driven budgets for sucos and aldeas.
For the next three years, the partnership between RAEOA - ZEESM TL and UNDP intends to contribute to the acceleration of the growth of the local economy. President of the Authority has summarized that "we want above all, to support the poorest people of Oé-Cusse to leave poverty behind by giving them tools and support”. The meeting was also attended by the Regional Secretaries Mr. Arsenio Bano, Ms. Leónia Monteiro and Ms. Inácia Teixeira and RAEOA focal person for the Project, Mr. Rui Pinto.
Thanks to the strong support of the UN Resident Coordinator in Timor Leste, Mr Roy Trivedy, facilitating the implementation of the India South-South Trust fund in Timor-Leste, UNDP and RAEOA signed a new project named “Leveraging ICT to Improve Education and Skills in Timor-Leste” that is worth USD 881,193.20. The project aims to improve primary and secondary education by providing children and young people in Oé-Cusse region with ICT skills and knowledge to prepare them to better address the challenges and opportunities of the economy.