The Chief Executive Officer of Open Government Partnership, an UN-supported organization, Mr. Sanjay Prahdan, has called on the Government of Liberia to prioritize Open Government Partnership for the good of the country.
He says Liberia stands to benefit immensely if only she prioritized Open Government Partnership. Chief Executive Officer Prahdan made the call on Wednesday, April 12th, at the Cecil Dennis Auditorium in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he met with government officials from line Ministries and Agencies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.
According to him, the concept was launched at the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 by eight Heads of State and nine civil society leaders with the aim of promoting transparent government to the people.
“Our coming to Liberia is to consolidate and institutionalize the OGP and forge a coalition between government and civil society, including the private sector to enhance the working of the government”, Mr. Prahdan explains.
He says the objective of the Open Government Partnership is to take government to the people, who often express distrust in the government, adding, the goal is to ensure that government serves the citizens rather than serving itself.
He stresses that in order for government to do this, there must be real partnership between both civil society and government hence, the launch of the OGP, which brings together Heads of State and society leaders.
He notes that civil society is brought onboard as an amplifier, representing the voice of the voiceless, and for government to respond to citizens’ voice and together they can develop action to make government more open to enhance citizens’ participation in the governing process as well as make government responsive to concerns of ordinary people.
CEO Prahdan discloses that benefits of the OGP include political dividend, donor’s credibility, and resources, saying, “Once you have a credible platform then you will have more donors coming to support it.”
Liberia’s Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Lenn Eugene Nagbe, says the Government of Liberia is excited to have OGP delegates visiting Liberia, saying, we the people and Government of Liberia are very excited to have you here in our country, because this initiative will provide us the platform for us to review and showcase activities for the Open Government Partnership in our country.”
Nagbe notes, “We have come a long way since 2011 to develop and implement national strategy, and currently, we are working on the third action plan to be finalize by June, this is an opportunity for all stakeholders that are gathered here today to recommit ourselves to achieving the goals OGP, and meet the target that will be sent out on the national plan, this an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss.”
The MICAT boss urges Liberians to promote OGP because according to him, it benefits the country and the people most, adding “the open government itself enables us to execute our budget in the more transparent way, and carry out activities for the good of the country.”
BY Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne