By Emmanuel Weedee-Conway
The Major of the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), Madam C. Cyvette M. Gibson was on Thursday, June 29, 2017 inducted as President of the Association of Mayors and Local Government Authorities of Liberia (AMLOGAL).
The PCC boss who was inducted President of a 10 –person leadership, which will steer the affairs of the organization (AMLOGAL) for the next two years.
Ceremony marking the induction of officers of AMLOGAL was held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.
Madam Gibson, in her inaugural address, said the group (AMLOGAL) will function as a comprehensive permanent institution and will embrace all local authorities of the country for their effective capacity building and collective resource mobilization as they become part of the planning and service provision in the country in keeping with the decentralization program of government.
She noted that the newly inducted leadership will lead the organization for the next two years in its formative stage of development, and while at the same time soliciting the full cooperation and support of all stakeholders and partners will be our key strategy towards achieving this goal.
“In this regards, we will unwaveringly work with the MIA, UCLG-A and Cities Alliance to put in place a full-time secretariat for AMLOGAL within six months. This will require a robust, dedicated, and effective administrator with strong implementation skills to lead secretariat and ensure this noble association fulfill all its set goals. The secretariat will ensure the kick start and full implementation of our five-Year Medium Term Strategic Plan under our supervision and leadership,” disclosed the PCC boss.
“During the same period, we will assiduously strive to obtain a Legislative Charter for AMLOGAL to enable it have the appropriate status deserving of such an organization in the eyes of the Liberian society and the international community,” she furthered.
She pointed out that the leadership will engage the Ministry of Internal Affairs to initiate the draft Act which would be submitted to the Legislature for enactment in the shortest possible time for the attainment of its desirable objectives.
The PCC boss and AMLOGAL head called on the Internal Affairs Ministry, United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG-A) and Cities Alliance to organize a one-week Team Building and Resource Mobilization Training Workshop for quick impact skills development and capacity building of the twenty City Mayors, who are the nucleus of AMLOGAL.
“With much enthusiasm, I assure our partners that the burden of financing this organization will not be your obligation. The first line of funding for AMLOGAL will be a one (1%) percent assessment of our individual city budgets which will be contributed as the annual membership dues of the association,” Madam Gibson vowed.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG-A) Secretariat, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, pledged the continental body’s support to the Liberian chapter.
Mr. Mbassi pointed out that in the face of scarce resources on the continent; there is a need for a united city’s agenda in a bid to achieve key development agenda.
“I want to thank you for your clear vision, objectives and core values as Mayors, who have led the formation of this body. But I urged you to push your government to sign and ratify the Local Government Chapter. Since 2014, your government has yet to neither sign nor ratify that agreement,” said the UCLG-A Secretariat scribe.
He then urged the newly inducted leadership to stand firm on the localization of the local government and development goals of the country.
In remarks, the Senior Urban Specialist of Cities Alliance, Mr. Omar Siddique, vowed his organization’s commitment to providing financial support to the newly inducted leadership of AMLOGAL.
With the induction of the new corpse of officers of AMLOGAL, he disclosed that Liberia has become the 41st country in Africa to organize the local government association in Africa, stressing that this will further promote development at the local level.
“In the entrenchment of development, local government is key. This carries an essential and united voice of decentralization and localization of key development agenda. This creates favorable condition for community development. You have a critical role to play,” he asserted.
Speaking briefly, the Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr. Stephen Y. Neufville, said the organization of AMLOGAL brings many development benefits to Liberia, owing to the fact that it paves the way for knowledge sharing among sister cities.
The top Internal Ministry official stated that the organization is a catalyst of developing local cities across Liberia.