By Lewis S Teh
The new ECOWAS Resident Representative to Liberia Ms. Josephine Nkrumah has urged the Government to show responsiveness in the open government processes if it wants to achieve its goals.
“For open government to be successful in Liberia, government must ensure monitoring; government must be responsive because it is when you monitor then you are listening to what the people will require of you”
Ms. Nkrumah made the comments over the weekend when she spoke at the Icampus in Central Monrovia during a program marking the official celebration of the Open Government Week, an event that has been observed globally.
In her special statement, Ms. Nkrumah noted that open government is a beautiful concept that allows everyone to own the process of their development.
She said the process must be vibrant to allow civil society to take the stands and play a key role in the process by demanding accountability from the government. She said the government too should hold itself accountable to the people it served.
According to Ms. Nkrumah, once there is an open government process in any country, it allows citizens to play their roles including civil society. She went on further to add that the government in return should seize the moment to deepen the capacity of citizens in the governance process to enable them to understand and know that they (citizens) too have a role to play.
“Development here is slow, but if we believe in this concept for which we all have gathered here, no matter how slow the process might be, we can achieve our goals,” she said.
Ms. Nkrumah observed that the future is not tomorrow, it’s now because the action one will take today will determine the tomorrow.
Touching on ECOWAS peace and security, Ms. Nkrumah said the only thing that can keep ECOWAS member states together is peace. She indicated that peace is cardinal and that without which there can be no form of development.
She said ECOWAS promotes peace and development, including economic participation that has the ability to shift the democratic system of governance in each member’s state.
Also speaking at the program, the chairman of the OGP Steering Committee, Deputy Information Minister for Administration Atty. Daniel Gayou noted that the OGP week focuses on the celebration of reformers, doers, and agents of change in OGP countries around the world.
“We, therefore, join this celebration to congratulate the reformers and positive change agents in civil society and government for maintaining our engagement on the OGP partnership platform in a non-adversarial manner,” Atty Gayou said.
He said the OGP process is a testament that the merging of diversified views on national issues can be done in peace.
Speaking earlier, the head of the OGP Liberia Secretariat, G. Ralph Jimmeh said the celebration of the OGP was meant to focus on reformers, doers and agents of change in the OGP process.
“We joined the rest of the world today to celebrate reformers, doers and agents and to congratulate them for placing OGP process as top priority at their various places of work,” he said.
Meanwhile, the OPG Steering Committee, this year honored Liberia Chief Justice Cllr. Francis Korpor as this year’s most doer, thinker and agent. The Secretariat explained that the Chief Justice has taken keen interest in issues relating to the open government processes.