Members of the Association of Mayors and Local Government Authorities of Liberia (AMLOGAL) have presented a roadmap aimed at connecting them to the European Union (EU). In a webinar held at the Monrovia City Government on February 25, 2021, the President of AMLOGAL, Jefferson Tamba Koijee, who is also the Mayor of the City of Monrovia, said ALMOGAL is collaborating with the United Cities and Local Government of Africa (UCLG) for local governance empowerment on the integration of Local Authority in the European Cooperation Program Process.
“As a child growing up in the advocacy field, I have learned that there is no power without the people and like all promoters of democracy, I also believe that people’s power isn’t just restricted to election and voting. Democracy in my view should be about meaningful participation and active inclusion of the people at every level of decision-making. Their elected officials must be accountable to them, not just by informing and working for them, but by working with them. This, I believe doesn’t only ensure sustainable and inclusive development, but it enhances peace, security, trust among stakeholders and gives power to the people to take ownership of their own affairs and destiny, and this is only possible through local governments”, Mayor Koijee intimated.
Mayor Koijee emphasized that for local governments to meaningfully contribute to national development, there must be established mechanisms and structures that guide or direct their actions. These must not be imposed on them by the central government, but they must be defined and layout by local authorities; since in fact they understand their issues and, in many cases, have the solutions to them. They are closer to the issues and the vast majority of the people than any other actor of society. On behalf of all mayors and local government authorities in Liberia, Mayor Koijee used the opportunity to thank the leadership of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa) for being the arrowhead in ensuring that local governments in Liberia fully participate in and benefit from EU/National negotiations through a Framework Partnership Agreement.
“We want to as well appreciate the support of the European Union continuous support to Liberia’s development in general and in particular for recognizing local governments as state actors and for integrating them in their development portfolios as stated in the revised 2005 Cotonou Agreement and the 2013 Communication.
We look forward to meaningfully actualizing and expanding on said commitment through the Association of Mayors and LOCAL Government Authorities of Liberia (AMLOGAL). We see this as a great opportunity to implement the government’s decentralization plan and the National Development Plan, the PAPD.”
For his part, the Secretary-General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassis, spoke on the presentation on the main challenges of the Integration of Local Authorities in the European Union Cooperation Programming process 2021-2027, where he elaborated on local government to be recognized to the EU as key stakeholders in the implementation of development and corporation agenda.
In clarity, he mentioned that the Corporation agency and even the government demonstrated that local government can become reliable and competent in the dialogue with the Liberian government and the EU delegations pertaining to the implementation of National policy and corporation programs that support national policy. He said in other to assist UCLG, USAID AFRICA has supported AMLOGAL with the early consultancy and the position of time of focus points among the UCLG Staffs in the West Africa Regional Office. This year’s seminar was intended for the inclusion of the Local Government Authority into the new EU Programming 2021-2027. The seminar is initiated by the United Cities and Local Government Authorities of Africa.