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Aid project being evaluated

November 3, 2000, 08:00 CET

An evaluation of a three-year aid project being financed by Statoil among the Akassa tribe in Nigeria is due to be completed by 31 December.

The programme has focused on giving roughly 30,000 members of the tribe help for self-help, with particular emphasis on health, education and the environment.

"We've modelled ourselves on best practice in Norwegian development assistance thinking, with the recipients setting their own targets and priorities," says Michael Price, western Africa manager for country risk and issues in International Exploration & Production.

The evaluation team is drawn from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology in Port Harcourt.

"This allows us to support the local academic community rather than using outside consultants," explains Mr Price.

The team will be looking in particular at the impact of the project on health, agriculture, fishing and efforts to combat poverty. It will also consider how far unrest in the Niger delta has affected progress.

Statoil intends to continue supporting the programme on a year-by-year basis, but Mr Price says that the goal is for the Akassa people to become independent of such assistance within a few years.