The Liberia Institute of Architects (LIA) over the weekend renewed its call for the passage of an Act that seeks for the establishment of the entity as an autonomous institution.
When passed into law, the LIA will serve as an umbrella organization for qualified Liberian architects who will demonstrate high standard of professional ethics and code of conduct as well as increase its membership to include all registered Liberian architectural engineers who are duly registered and certified by the government.
The LIA made the call at the installation program of its newly-elected officials held in Sinkor, outside Monrovia.
LIA’s new president, Sylvanus O’Connor, spoke of his administration’s commitment to negotiate with members of the 54th Legislature for the passage of the Act.
O’Connor said the support of government ministries and agencies in this endeavor is one surest way that the Act can be passed into law.
He also stated that the LIA under his leadership will pursue its interest and create the necessary awareness through a working relationship with the administration of the University of Liberia, to establish a department of architecture that will benefit interested persons.
“The LIA acknowledges that there is a need to strengthen the institution in order to hold its members accountable. This will be possible if LIA is created by law,” Mr. O’Connor noted.
He further stressed that architects play a major role in society. As such, there is a need to ensure they get all the necessary support, especially at a time when Liberia, like many African and developing countries, are experiencing population explosion and high growth of urban population.
Meanwhile, Public Works Deputy Minister for Technical Services, Claude E. Langley, said the lack of monitoring and supervision systems have been one major problem facing the sector, adding that the Ministry has pledged its support on working with the LIA in instituting other standards, to ensure best architectural practices in Liberia.
Outgoing president Adolphus Mccrity noted that it is a shame for Liberia to be the only country in Africa and the world at large that does not have an institute of architects established by law.
He called on the new leadership to not give up in pursuing the legislature to pass the act into law.
It may be recalled that Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence in 2016 submitted the Liberian Institute of Architects Act before the Senate to be enacted into law which, according to her, will protect, promote and provide educational training and research in the arts and architecture.
The ceremony was graced by top government officials, including Varney Sirleaf, Minister of Internal Affairs and Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, President of the University of Liberia (UL).
Minister Sirleaf said that the LIA is an integral partner in the national development drive. As such, he pledged his ministry’s support towards the institution’s quest in petitioning the 54th national Legislature to pass the LIA Act.
Dr. Weeks, who earlier served as the induction officer, disclosed that plans are underway for the creation of the Departments of Climate Change and Architecture at the University of Liberia. She noted that the two departments will work together in implementing climate change mitigation programs and ensuring structures that will be designed and made resilient to climate change and at the same time change the face of major cities and towns in Liberia.