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PaulitaWie vows to strengthen local governance

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Former senatorial candidate and deputy minister for urban affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Paulita C.C Wie vows to strengthen capacities of mayors and township commissioners in Liberia.

MinisterWiesays her goal as deputy minister for urban affairs is to strengthen the capacity of local authorities to enable them take on greater responsibility in a decentralized government.

She vows to give themskills and knowledge to meet objectives of the urban department at the Ministry.

Deputy Minister Wie gave the promise Thursday in Monrovia at a diagnosis validation workshop on National Urban Policy for Liberia toward implementing the SDGs and New Urban agenda here. The workshop was organized by UN- Habitat, Cities Alliance in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Miss Paulita C.C.Wie from the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) contested for the senate during the 2017 senatorial by-election in Montserrado County, but lost to now Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of the Collaborating Political Parties, CPP.

She specifically notes the aim of the work is to increase knowledge on national urban policy and strengthen capacity of key stakeholders across Liberia on sustainable and inclusive national urban policymaking.

She adds that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has a responsibility to constantly improve, promote and coordinate between National Government and local governmental functionaries in counties, districts, municipalities and townships as well as supervise, guide, harmonize, mentor, monitor and advocate for financial and logistics support across cities.

Wiediscloses that in 2018 she visited all 15 counties in Liberia and saw the need for funding, logistics and coordination in cities and towns.

She lauds the United Nations settlement program (UN Habitat) and other international partners for support toward the program.

For his part, Maryland County Senator Gbleh-bo Brown describes the validation workshop as very good, noting that it is all about strengthening the governance system in the country.

However, Senator Brown observes that development of policiesis good but implementation should matter more.

“We have developed policies for a very long time, we have developed laws for a very long time; it is about time we move to implementation”, he emphasizes.

He recalls that three years ago, the President of Liberia signed the Local Government Act into law with a specific section that spells out areas that should qualify to become cities, but since then, it has not been implemented.

According to the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Service or LISGIS, by 2008 Liberia’s total urban population was 47 percent, comprising of total population of 3.5million. With a growth rate of 4.7 percent, it is estimated that out of a population of over 4 million, 2 million Liberians lived in urban areas by 2008, a figure projected to be higher in 2020. Approximately 40 percent of the urban population lives in the Greater Monrovia area.

By Bridgett Milton–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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