On Friday, July 5, the Liberian Cabinet, chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, held a day-long retreat in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Cabinet received reports and recommendations from various ministries and agencies of the government. At the end of presentations and discussions, the Cabinet endorsed several policy documents: the National Action Plan under the Open Government Partnership; and directed further actions towards the creation of Special Economic Zones across the country to enhance economic activities.
Among other actions taken, President Sirleaf and her Cabinet mandated the update of the current Minerals and Mining Law to address needed harmonization with new laws, such as environmental protection and local content requirements, as well as rationalizing the current mining regime to account for artisanal mining.
The Cabinet also endorsed the National Social Protection Policy and Strategy to address vulnerability by providing safety nets and protections which are intended to bring vulnerable households into the development process. This Policy, which provides the framework for addressing vulnerabilities over the next 17 years, will also provide support for the different needs of vulnerable households and groups throughout the life cycle, including a move to cash transfers.
The Cabinet considered a recommendation for the implementation of a Compulsory Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance Scheme, to commence on January 1, 2014.
In other action, the Cabinet heard a presentation on the President's Young Professionals Program (PYP) in which its Director, Mr. Saah Charles N'Tow, encouraged the ministers to get involved in facilitating job opportunities for graduates, the transfer of knowledge to the next generation, and strengthening public sector capacity.
The Minister of State Without Portfolio briefed on plans to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed in Accra, Ghana, in 2003.
The Cabinet also heard an update from the Minister of Foreign Affairs on preparations for the celebration of the nation's 166th Anniversary, starting with an Investiture Program on July 19th, and culminating with children's parties all over the country on July 27th.