The United Nations Habitat (UN-Habitat) and Cities Alliance, in partnership with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), and the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), have finally concluded a City Development Strategy (CDS) validation meeting in Monrovia.
The one-day CDS stakeholder validation meeting was aimed at formulating a participatory city planning for Monrovia, Paynesville surrounding local government authorities (LGAs) to provide them with a tool to build resilience and promote equitable growth.
The event, which took place on October 28 in Monrovia, brought together urban stakeholders, Government representatives from various line ministries and agencies, Mayors and Commissioners from across the 15 counties, and was held under the theme: “We are to support democratic, effective and efficient local governance and spearhead the implementation of the decentralization process, promote participatory decision-making process, strengthen basic social services delivery, maintain peace harmony and social cohesion in the country.”
Serving as moderator of the event, Ellen O. Pratt told the gathering that CDS objectives were intended to strengthen the capacity of city corporations by providing a strategic planning approach focusing on investment for economic growth and integrated natural resources management within Monrovia, Paynesville and surrounding boroughs and townships. “It supports the National Vision, which will move Liberia to middle-income status by 2030.”
According to Madam Pratt, this will further provide the metropolis of Monrovia, Paynesville as well as surrounding LGAs with a tool that will integrate a long-term perspective and proposes and joint actions and initiatives toward sustainable development for urban areas.
She indicated that the documents have three phases, which include the development process, which began with the feasibility phase, and is currently at the diagnostic phase. The diagnostic phase seeks to analyze issues identified at the feasibility phase with in-depth analysis; to better inform the subsequent formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation phases of the policy.
Paulita C.C. Wie, Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Chairperson of the Liberia Country Program (LCP), recognized the participants for their participatory role and for supporting the validation of the documents.
Minister Wie stressed the need for collaboration, coordination, and work in the interest of Liberia. “As our international partners work to build our capacities and empower all of us today, let us work together in terms of planning and waste management strategies, in building resilient cities for economic growth for communities and improve the living environment of the people.
She called on every Liberian to take advantage of the partners’ support to make urban cities a better place in Liberia.
She further stressed the need for cities and towns to be managed in a clean, safe, and green way, which she stressed is important to implement the Local Government Act and formulate a National Urban Policy. “I want to encourage all of us to work for the best interest of Liberia and support the National Urban Policy process, in order to create a tool that will help manage urban challenges and make the best use of the opportunities created due to urbanization,” she said.
Deputy Minister Wie then acknowledged the importance of developing a National Urban Policy, owing to the fact that rapid growth in urban population growth, as in the Liberian context, is critical.
“The city has exceeded its originally designed proposed population density, which is clearly challenging its city management.”
Francisco Juarez Lopez, Cities Alliance Country Manager, assured participants of the organization’s support to ensure that the process is participatory and in the right direction to ensure and strengthen national participation across the country. He said bringing together participants from various institutions across the country clearly shows the participatory nature of the process. He also encouraged them to give their input and hopefully conclude with the validation.