Liberia Wins AFROPAC Chairmanship, As Kenyan President stresses transparency and accountability of Public resources

By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas/GNN Senior Staff

afoLiberia has again made history in the financial sector of Africa by capturing the Chairmanship of the African Organization for Public Accounts Committee (AFROPAC)

AFROPAC is a Pan-African Network of Parliamentary Public Accounts and Committees with similar functions.

Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Edward Dagoseh who represented Liberia at the Continental Parliamentary body gathering was elected on acclamation in a process that had other processions contended for.

According to dispatch, Senator Dagoseh who is former Chairman of the West Africa Association of Public Accounts Committee was elected in Nairobi Kenya on Thursday to steer the affairs of the body for the next four years.

The election of the Liberian Senator came at the end of the second Annual General Meeting and Conference of AFROPAC which took place from August 29 to September 2 in the Kenyan Capital Nairobi.

Senator Dagoseh has now replaced Parliamentarian Alfred Wol Malith from South Sudan who served African Organization for Public Accounts Committee for four years.

With this new financial portfolio, Senator Dagoseh as Chairman of AFRPAC will supervise the organization’s services to African Parliaments and their Committees dealing with Public Accounts issues.

Key among other responsibilities will include the setting up of a clear mutual understanding of Public Accounts Committees (PAC) in Africa and also manage all parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and Committees with similar functions on the Continent.

Speaking following his election Senator Dagoseh praised his colleagues for the assurance repose in his country, Liberia to manage the continental accounts body.

He pledged his commitment to work in the interest of AFROPAC and the improvement of Public Accounts at the parliamentary level in Africa.

Others elected to steer the affairs of AFROPAC for the next four years are Hon. Angelline Osegge of Uganda Co- chairman , Hon. Nicolas Gumbo of Kenya Secretary General and Ahmed Magzoub Ahmed of Sudan Treasurer.

The electoral process was facilitated by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The AFROPAC conference brought together leaders, representatives and legislators from 14 countries including Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.

Serving as keynote speaker at the start of the five day gathering, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta throw out a challenge to members of Public Accounts Committees (PACs) across Africa to foster transparency to ensure prudent use of public resources.

President Kenyatta also expressed the need for PACs to come up with legal mechanisms to ensure public officers are accountable to citizens.

“Upon your work, rests the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Africans across the continent. Your work must be above reproach, President Kenyatta told the newly elected officials.

He told the officials to be reasonable servants that will adhere to the laws of their respective countries, while urging members of the committees, who are all parliamentarians, to rise above partisan considerations while discharging their duties.

President Kenyatta at a Nairobi hotel when he opened the second annual general meeting of the African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPA).

“The work you do is not for the benefit of the opposition but citizens of your respective countries. Cross border projects will only succeed where PACs did their work effectively,” the President said.

President Kenyatta signaled concern over the accountability of foreign financial aid and donations and the relationship between PACs and Supreme Audit Institutions.

On foreign financial aid and donations, the Head of State said PACs should provide an effective process of public financial accountability, a strong tool of quality financial governance that would ensure proper utilization of aid resources.

He noted that there has always been an issue of whether foreign governments and development partners would trust domestic accountability mechanisms and provide support for the strengthening of local institutions charged with the responsibility or not.

President Kenyatta observed on the relationship between PACs and the Supreme Audit Institutions, President Kenyatta called for the strengthening of the mechanisms of interaction which have a strong bearing on accountability issues.

“I believe this conference provides us with the opportunity for a fruitful exchange to produce actionable lessons for us all,” the President said.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso called on National Parliaments to enact laws that promote accountability in public financial expenditure.

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About Cholo Brooks 16865 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.