Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, Liberia’s premier democracy advancement institution has begun a two-day training session on the Local Government Act 2018 as part of creating awareness on the Act. The institution is using its recently published simplified version of the LGA 2018 to deepen citizens’ understanding of the law and inspire participants to get involved and take ownership of the implementation of the LGA. Today, training was focused on the powers and authority of the local government, local government structure at the county level, available services at the County Service Center and benefits of the LGA 2018 to Liberia and Liberians.
Speaking at the opening of the training, Eddie Jarwolo, the Executive Director of Naymote Partners for Democratic Development said, Liberia has made progress from the national decentralization policy to the passage of the Local Government Act of 2018 and the establishment of the County Service Centers in the fifteen counties. He said the Ministry of Internal Affairs has led the process and will need national commitment, budgetary support, and massive awareness to help citizens understand, appreciate, and take ownership of the LGA 2018.
He further mentioned the simplified booklet produced is expected to be used as a reference material by local government administrators, civil society, community groups, school administrators, the media, and peacebuilders in educating citizens about the LGA 2018 and its benefits to national economic development, peacebuilding, and youth empowerment.
Mr. Jarwolo emphasized that decentralization and local governance are increasingly recognized as basic components of democratic governance, since they provide an enabling environment in which decision making and service delivery can go a long way in improving the quality of life, particularly of the poorer and marginalized sectors.
He called on participants as leaders to support this national effort which is expected to bring citizens at the forefront of national decision-making, strengthening participatory governance and promoting public service delivery and accountability, etc.
Among those attending the training are 10 township commissioners and one district superintendent from Montserrado County, including commissioners from Virginia, Congo Town, Kingsville, Mt. Coffee, Clara Town, New Georgia, Gardnerville, and WestPoint.
Additionally, he called on all Liberians to get involved in ensuring the effective implementation of the Local Government Act 2018, that the Liberian legislature will allocate funding in the national budget to rollout the LGA and ensure that international partners divert more focus towards an effective and efficient Local Government Administration realizing this will provide power to the people and get them involved in the national development process from the button-up.
Participants appreciated the training and committed to share the knowledge gained from the training. Congo Township Commissioner, Mensah Suku has asked NAYMOTE to conduct the same training in his township to increase awareness and advocacy. NAYMOTE has promised to intensify the awareness campaign across the country through town hall meetings, debates and training, etc.
The training is being conducted at the institution’s head office in Paynesville for 30 participants and is part of a grant support from the National Endowment for Democracy.