The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Buchanan Hosts Open Budget Initiative

After commissioning a CSO driven public awareness raising campaign, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in partnership with Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding, (CEMESP), will officially launch the project on Saturday 19th July instant in the administrative building of the Port city of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

Minister of Finance and Development Planning designate Amara Konneh is expected to be in attendance to formally deliver the keynote address while Deputy Minister Sebastian Muah will give an overview of the Open Budget Initiative that Liberia has since embraced in context of fiscal accountability and transparency.

Based on the theme, Fostering Openness and Accountability Through Access to Information, this program will mark the turning point in bringing budget related information to the grassroots. The Mayor of Buchanan Julia Bono among other resident dignitaries from the government and private sector are expected to be in attendance and make welcome and goodwill remarks about open budget.

According to CEMESP Executive Director Malcolm Joseph this launch will signal to our colleague CSOs assigned to different counties to reach out to the people with various Information, Communication and Education materials designed.

There are cartoon features, tract messages, banners, wrist bands and billboards designed to carry various Open Budget message thrust. These messages seek to among other things inspire citizens to participate in the Open Budget Initiative from the point of view of advocacy, monitoring and tracking. In addition to facilitating the Buchanan launch, CEMESP has carried out open Budget awareness campaign to Sinoe and Rivercess counties.

It can be recalled that, President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf on, Wednesday, January 23, 2013 officially inaugurated the electronic billboard, located at the Ministry of Finance, to display an updated profile of Liberia's public finances in a manner that the ordinary man and woman on the street will understand.

The US Government, via the USAID-funded Governance and Economic Management Support (USAID-GEMS) project, provided funding and technical assistance for the billboard; and the African Development Bank through support to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) is also providing support to capacity needs of the effort.

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