By Lewis S Teh
The Dean at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia (UL) and Board Chair for the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner, says the fight against corruption in Liberia requires a broad stakeholders’ engagement across all sectors.
“Our focus at CENTAL is to see a corruption-free society, but we alone can’t do it by ourselves because the fight against corruption requires a broad stakeholders’ engagement for the good of the society,” said Cllr. Warner at a local hotel in Sinkor Tuesday, 24 May 2022.
Cllr. Warner’s comment came when CENTAL convened a one-day open expenditure dialogue that brought together diverse stakeholders, including ordinary citizens, development partners, policymakers, youths, women groups and the civil society.
In a special remark, Cllr. Warner said corruption undermines the growth and development of any country.
He suggested that CENTAL’s decision to have brought various stakeholders together was for them to share knowledge and make input on issues including public resources.
Cllr. Warner extended gratitude to the government institutions that were represented, particularly the General Auditing Commission (GAC), among others.
He further thanked CENTAL’s development partners, including the Swedish government, through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and other partners who have supported CENTAL.
Warner said the institution’s work wouldn’t have been successful in its research and field trip without the support it receives.
He said it takes long to improve government, and as such, the impact might not be felt at the dialogue.
However, Cllr. Warner noted that there is tremendous progress being made by CENTAL.
For her part, the Program Officer for Democracy and Human Rights at the Swedish Embassy, Ms. Nikolina Stalhand, said transparency and accountability are important preconditions for inclusive development in Liberia.
“The Embassy of Sweden and SIDA are very much committed to the fight against corruption and to promote good governance,” she assured.
Here in Liberia, she said CENTAL plays a key role in holding government accountable, thereby encouraging citizens to demand what is right and take action against corruption.
She said why it’s true CENTAL is playing a pivotal role in corruption fight, participants must take concrete actions by actively getting into public debates by asking the relevant questions.
With that, she said citizens can hold their leaders accountable to ensure that development takes place.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of CENTAL, Mr. Anderson Miamen extolled the participants for honoring their invitation and giving their input on issues relating to the fight against corruption.
The one-day dialogue is meant to strengthen the engagement between and among key stakeholders around public resources, especially the county social development funds (CSDF).
The dialogue brought together key stakeholders including Auditor General Mr. P. Garswa Jackson; Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) Executive Director Atty. J. Roseline Nagbe Kowo, and Mr. James K. Kingsley, Program Manager at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC).
Also in attendance was civil society activist Mr. Eddie Jarwolo, Executive Director of NAYMOTE.
They shared their knowledge in a panel discussion: ” Making the County Social Development Fund or CSDF work more for citizens: Transparency and Accountability, Challenges, Prospect and Recommendation for the future.
The open expenditure dialogue was held under the theme: “Strengthening Stakeholders Collaboration and Partnership and the County Social Development Fund or CSDF for greater accountability and impact.”