Monrovia-December 9, 2015: The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Liberia, Madam Lena Nordstrom, says communities’ participation in society is fundamental in order to maintain peace and increase inclusiveness.
She said people’s participation will empower the communities themselves to take leadership of local development and contribute to national development with their full human potential, adding, that this will also contribute to a more effective way to combat poverty.
A release from the Ministry of Internal Affairs said the Swedish Ambassador was speaking Wednesday in Monrovia, when her government through the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia signed a 5 million United States Dollars contribution agreement with the Liberian Government in support to implementation of the National Policy on Decentralization and Local Governance.
According to Madam Nordstrom, Liberia has demonstrated leadership and commitment, and that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has given high priority to decentralization, evidenced by the Round Table on Decentralization in December last year and the launch of the National Deconcentration Platform early this year and the draft Local Government Bill as important milestones to develop inclusive governance. “
“The launch of the Grand Bassa County Service Center in Buchanan, which I visited in October and was very impressed by, is another tangible step”. The Swedish Envoy stressed.
Speaking earlier, Acting Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf who signed on behalf of the Liberian Government thanked the Swedish Government for the support, noting that the contribution would help fast track decentralization implementation.
Hon. Sirleaf assured full accountability of the funds, saying, as Chairperson of the Board of the Decentralization Program, he would ensure full compliance with the necessary accounting procedures.
He said the Swedish contribution to the program signifies that partners are aware of significant steps on the government for inclusive governance and people’s participation.
Hon. Sirleaf emphasized that Government is committed to ensure implementation of Decentralization and local governance programs, because according him; decentralization puts a country on the path of prosperity.
Speaking for the UN System in Liberia, UNMIL’s Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General, Antonio Vigilante described Decentralization is one of the reforms intended to make a new Liberia.
Ambassador Vigilante said the signing was a good start, and said it was up to the National Legislature to do its part.
Others present at the signing ceremony were Cllr. Yarsuo Weh-Dorliaeof the Governance Commission, Deputy Finance and Development Planning Minister for Budget and Planning Hon. Tanneh Geraldine Brunson and UN Women Liberia CountryRepresentative Awa Ndiaye Seck, amongstothers.
The LDSP supports the implementation of the decentralized policy of Liberia to promote participatory local governance and an improved system of service delivery that is more localized and responsive to the needs and aspirations of all citizens.
As a successor to the Liberia Decentralization and Local Development (LDLD) project, the LDS Program also seeks to support the decentralization of political, administrative and fiscal governance in Liberia, by ensuring responsive and capable and accountable local governments, developing and strengthening local level planning, monitoring and management capacity. The release concluded.