Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) and partners have officially launched the Talking BUS Project which is intended to elevate election campaigns to be issues-based, rather than politics driven by personality.
The Talking Bus project is a component of the overall Women’s Situation Room-Liberia that seeks to get community members involved in engaging presidential and legislative aspirants on what kind of development initiative is most needed in their communities.
According to the Establishing Coordinator of ABIC, Cllr. Yvette Chesson Wureh, who spoke at the launch at Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor, the purpose of the project is to move from personality driven politics to issues-driven politics that will benefit communities and the country especially at the critical juncture Liberia is in with the coming elections.
“I cannot overly emphasize how crucial this election is. Liberia is at a crossroads and the world is watching how we determine our destiny,” Cllr. Chesson-Wureh said.
“We cannot afford anything that will stagnate our forward march to set a good example of true democracy. Civil society, especially women’s CSOs, are leaving no stone unturned for a level playing field that will support a peaceful electoral process.
“It is against this backdrop that we at the Angie Brooks International Center have initiated these series of projects ahead of the elections, with the Talking Bus as one of the initiatives.”
She said the project will ‘conscientize’ communities to start thinking about what their issues are, so that they will be able to adequately engage politicians during the campaign period, adding: “It will stimulate all members of the society to turn out to vote on elections day for a candidate of their choice, who has best articulated how to address the issues of their respective communities.”
Cllr. Chesson-Wureh said the engagement will bring disaffected populations into election year discussions and sensitize local communities to mitigate all forms of elections related violence ahead of the electoral process.
Meanwhile, the project has targeted nine hotspots in eight counties of Liberia where the ‘Bus’ will visit and create a platform that will give community members the ability to speak truth to power and influence politicians on what kind of development is most needed.
“This will give the selected communities a rare opportunity to present in their own voices those issues that are important to them, thus avoiding a replication of projects by politicians seeking their votes,” she added.
The Angie Brooks International Center promotes women’s empowerment, leadership development and international peace and security throughout Africa. Consistent with its mandate to support the decisions of the colloquium (on Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security), the center actively engages in women’s involvement in peace and security in Liberia and across Africa.