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GC engages students on Decentralization program

The Governance Commission (GC) has underscored a need to engage the youthful population of Liberia to strengthen their understanding of the importance of the National Decentralization program.

Commissioner George Howe of the Political Legal Reform/Decentralization Mandate Area of the GC made the call on Friday, December 9, during opening remarks to kick off a nationwide civic engagement program to strengthen understanding and importance of National Decentralization among a key segment of the national population.

Friday’s engagement was purely decentralization awareness with several high school students in Montserrado County to explain key provisions of the Local Governance Act of 2018 and the National Policy on Decentralization and Local Governance (NPDLG). More than 50 students from Tubman High School in Sinkor, D.Twe High School in New Kru Town, and Paynesville Community High School in Paynesville city, respectively gathered at Belle Casa Hotel to participate in the program.

Commissioner Howe said the objectives of the decentralization awareness with students are to: define decentralization and governance, explain the different forms and dimensions of the national decentralization program, the key provision of the Local Governance Act of 2018, among others.

He reminded that Article 5 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia mandates the Legislature to enact laws, promote national unification and encourage all citizens to participate in government and benefit from the social, economic, and political development of the country.

He said the LGA-2018 affirms the commitment of the government to further the unity of the Republic by providing equal opportunity for all of its citizens to engage in the governance of the state through the devolution of certain administrative, fiscal and political powers from the institutions of the national government to local government

.The Governance Commission has been conducting decentralization awareness campaigns and training for civil society organizations (CSOs), local government officials, women, and youth groups in the country, according to him.

However, he confirmed there has been no direct involvement of high school students as targeted but has become imperative that they get directly involved.

 Facilitator Madam Cecelia Flomo explained Decentralization as the process of transferring power from central government to Sub-national units. She noted that during the decentralization process, the constitutional provisions for the President to appoint top positions holders in the counties will become the decision of the common people because those officials will all be elected.

“The president will easily run the state with the help of those elected to function instead of appointing them to reluctantly sit in the positions without fear because of their connection to the president”, Madam Flomo explained.

She added “electing local county officials as enshrined in the local government Act will enable them efficiently serving their people, promoting inclusion, participatory democracy and giving others the opportunity to be part of the process”.

Providing more clarity to the students the facilitator maintained that not all of the current structures and branches of the government will be changed but will be extended to the other counties to be felt, saying

“The justice system will not have to be decentralized because of legality attached, so the Supreme Court would be in Monrovia while local courts are established in every part of the country under the local government.”

The Governance Commission is a Think Tank that crafts reform policies for government to decentralize the governance process in the country. Editing by Jonathan Browne


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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