‘Decentralization Success Depends on Joint Efforts’

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Sen. Henrique Tokpa

Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Henrique Tokpa says to fulfill the country’s decentralization program the media should collaborate with stakeholders to adequately inform the public about the positive roles government has played in the process.

Dr. Tokpa speaking recently at the close of a two-day working session on the role of the media in government’s decentralization process held in Gbarnga, Bong County, challenged the media to pay regular visits to some of the recently introduced County Service Centers (CSCs) to adequately inform the public about projects the government has implemented successfully.

The Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP) is a framework document that defines government’s vision for a new Liberia that responds to the needs of its people.

Dr. Tokpa also expressed gratitude to the media and their partners for their level of cooperation and support to the LDSP. He admonished media practitioners to do more to ensure that the program to decentralize government services is fully realized.

“Since the founding of Liberia, the national governance system has remained centralized for which the country’s socioeconomic development has stalled,” Dr. Tokpa said.

To address that problem, he said, the government decided to change the pattern to a decentralized structure wherein every citizen, irrespective of location, will have a say in the governance of the country.

Dr. Tokpa recalled how President Sirleaf from 2012 to 2015 introduced the County Development Fund (CDF) and the Social Development Fund (SDF).

The idea, he said, was to promote development in the counties and then launch the national policy on decentralization platform and the county service centers.
Earlier in a remark, Daily Observer newspaper’s Publisher Kenneth Y. Best called on the ministries of Internal Affairs and Information to empower and sustain community radio stations across the country to ensure that the policy of decentralization is fully achieved.

The two ministries are working together to ensure that the decentralization program is achieved.

Mr. Best said those wishing to assume power in 2017 need to take ownership of the decentralization policy the UP-led government has put in place.

The Liberia Decentralization Support Program is implemented in partnership with the European Union, the Swedish Government, USAID, UNMIL and UNDP.

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