The Cities Alliance Liberia in partnership with the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, ended a one-day forum which focuses on the development of a five-to-ten-year city development plan.
The forum, which was held at the Monrovia City Hall, brought together a little over 100 participants from nine townships, two cities from Greater Monrovia and Paynesville City, to dialogue on the proposed document.
The overall goal of the forum is to have an inclusive and participatory consensus building and dialogue process for the Greater Monrovia area and the development of the city development strategy.
According to authorities of Cities Alliance Liberia, the strategy, when developed in an inclusive manner, will build a constituency for better planning and change through meaningful participation of residents and the private sector to deliver results in the area that matters.
The forum is the third forum held in Greater Monrovia with the aim to bring together all stakeholders to dialogue about the past, present and future of the city.
Cities Alliance Advisor Julian Baskin, in a PowerPoint presentation, said the pre-condition of every city development strategy is to have organized communities that can be imputed into the City Development Strategy (CDS) process.
Baskin said the very beginning of the CDS was to engage with slum dwellers to help them understand the community and enable them to bring real knowledge to the process in order to start the real city work.
He said because cities grow, it is important to have a good strategy that will attract investors to do business in an organized city.
Mr. Baskin said Africa's slum communities grow by 76,000 people per day, adding that cities' orderliness remains a major challenge across Africa.
He said it is important for African leaders to develop a strategy that is relevant to the CDS and that will benefit the city and its inhabitants.
Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs, Famater Roesler, said the progressive and sustainable growth and development of these cities are absolutely cardinal to the over-all advancement of the general citizenry and socio-economic prosperity of the national economy.
Minister Roesler said a progressive and sustainable urban economy provides substantial links to productive rural economic growth and multiple development benefits.
"In this pursuit," she said, "Cities Alliance as a credible and reliable international partner has demonstrated absolute determination to assist Liberia's cities transform into competitive modern cities around the world."
Minister Roesler added, "In this endeavor, Cities Alliance's inputs into this national initiative are indispensable, and truly serve as an essential pilot for government's historic national program for socio-economic and political decentralization of Liberia's national social structure that will provide participants of all the citizenry."
She said to ensure the full realization and implementation of this challenging endeavor, the government has initiated the legal formula by passing into law the necessary legislation and cardinal steps leading to the full implementation of the decentralization practical instruments; now in place are the reviews of the local government act and the establishment of the country service centers.
West Point Township Commissioner William C. Wea said the forum helps local government and partners discuss the issues of city orderliness and provide bigger pictures of some challenges they face.
Mr. Wea said the benefit of the forum is to improve the enlightenment and help local government to come and accrue their case for the betterment of their people.
He promised to take the idea back to the people of West Point to help them understand that they need good sanitation to improve their living conditions.