By Emmanuel Weedee-Conway
The Association of Mayors and Local Government Authorities of Liberia (AMLOGAL) on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 began a two-day strategic meeting to develop a five-year plan (2018-2022) and to develop the 2018 annual work plan.
The two-day meeting, which is being held at the Golden Key Hotel in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, is supported by the United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A) and Cities Alliance. The strategic meeting is geared towards promoting the growth and development of the organization, as well as to enhance development at the local level.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, the President of AMLOGAL, Madam Cyvette M. Gibson, disclosed that the organization has planned a five-year medium and strategic plan that will promote growth at the local level.
Madam Gibson, who is also the Mayor of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), lauded the development partners of AMLOGAL for recruiting a consultant that will work with the Association to ensure that its plan is realized.
According to her, the organization needs a robust, dedicated and effective administrator with strong implementation skills to lead the secretariat and to ensure that the association fulfills its set goals.
“This workshop is intended for us, as members of AMLOGAL, to brainstorm along with our partners so as to produce a document that will guide our journey. I would like to urge all of us to actively participate in all of the deliberations so that we may collectively take AMLOGA to higher heights,” added the Local Government head.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Regional Director for the West Africa Regional Office of UCLG-A, Madam Juliet Sale, described the meeting as a significant step taken by the Association, because it brings about inclusiveness in the decision making process at the local government level.
She urged members of the local government to take the activities of the Association very seriously in order to enhance growth and make impact at the regional and continental levels.
“This association will be judged by some engagements you have taken in some of your statutory documents for example – the number of statutory meetings to hold in a year and how regular you do that. Also the implementation of the activities spelt out in your plans. It is in your constitution and your work plans and so you need to respect that,” Madam Sale cautioned the AMLOGAL’s membership.
Mr. Stephen Y. Neufville, Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in remarks, stated that the establishment of AMLOGAL is an important tool to the decentralization process of the country.
“The establishment of your organization and the work you do is the foundation for decentralization. The growth of the society rest on the local government authorities in any country and Liberia is no exception to this,” Minister said.
However, he was quick to point out that the challenge to the smooth running of government at the local level remains the passage of the Local Government Act, which is still languishing at the Senate.
Meanwhile, one of the cardinal objectives of the ongoing meeting is to set up a functional AMLOGAL Secretariat and provide training.
It will develop Terms of References (ToRs) for all positions in the Secretariat, and identify office space, equipment and logistics for effective running of the Secretariat.