Philippe Germain, President of the Government of New Caledonia and Honorable Charlot Salwai, Tabimasmas Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, signed an agreement on Monday, March 19, to finance the first installment of the work of the future bilingual National University in Port Vila. This is an opportunity to highlight the good health of the cooperation that unites the two countries, particularly since 2015.

 Thursday, March 1, Philippe Germain and Philippe Renault, director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Noumea, signed a financing agreement for the construction of the National Bilingual University of Vanuatu, by which the AFD granted 83, 5 million VT to New Caledonia. Monday, March 19, eighteen days later, the signing of an agreement by President Germain and the Vanuatu Honorable Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas - in the presence of Jean-Pierre Nirua and Hélène Iékawé, their Ministers of Education - concretizes the transfer of these funds (and those of New Caledonia on own funds) to Vanuatu.

 A quarter of the budget of the Republic of Vanuatu is indeed devoted to education, as recalled by the Prime Minister. For many years, the country was planning to create its own national university, in order to limit the flight of its elites. Mission accomplished by 2020. "Vanuatu is today embarking on an ambitious path: the emancipation and development of our youth. Let's give him the opportunity today to measure himself intellectually with Melanesian, Polynesian, Micronesian and even Australian and New Zealand cousins. For that, we are lucky to be accompanied by our New Caledonian friends who, through this agreement , show us once again that we can count on their unfailing support. "

The Republic of Vanuatu is indeed the first partner of New Caledonia in terms of regional cooperation. The various actions are part of a cooperation agreement concluded in 2002 between the two neighbors and France, and always renewed since then. This cooperation has been strengthened, in accordance with the joint will of the two governments, by the signing, in March 2017, of a "joint cooperation framework" which lays the foundations for a genuine partnership between the two countries in a dozen countries. activity area.

 The last joint committee, the deliberative body that ratifies the annual cooperation program, was held in Port Vila on 17 July 2017. For the second consecutive year, the priority actions concerned the sectors of training, education, Francophonie, higher education and research. But between the two neighbors and cousins, the axes of cooperation - bilateral or regional - are multiple: economic, scientific, cultural, health, sports, etc.

 Budget of the project

- First tranche: 140.4 million VT
- Financed by 59.5% by AFD, or 83.5 million, via the FICOL (Financing Facility for French Local Authorities), initially set up for metropolitan authorities and open since 2016 to overseas territories.
- 25% by the Government of New Caledonia (35 million) on own funds.
- 12.5% by the Vanuatu Government (17.9 million).
- 3% via the joint commission of the 2017 regional cooperation convention between France, New Caledonia and Vanuatu (4 million).



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