Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee on Friday, April 27, presented a strategic action plan of the city at the World Bank donors’ conference currently taking place in Japan, Tokyo. The conference took place from Monday, April 23, to Friday, April 27.
As part of his presentation, Mayor Koijee stressed the need for more donor support towards key priorities of the Monrovia municipality, which included projects on youth development, solid waste value chain investment, agriculture (urban farming and horticulture), infrastructure, youth rehabilitation, slums upgrading and solar energy.
Koijee added, “We are a small country that suffered 14 years of civil conflict (1989-2003), but we are a resilient people with a population of youthful enthusiasm committed to national development. Therefore, we can say to you that Liberia is safer than ever before and that it is ready to make gains in service delivery and proper leadership with our new President George M. Weah.”
“We have come to present to you a plan that is geared towards making Monrovia clean, green, and safe. I need to inform you that there is a high unemployment of youths in Liberia, many of whom are skilled and unskilled; so we are seeking all needed support to break this barrier of youth unemployment,“ Koijee said.
“Our city,” Koijee said, “has been confronted with the issue of wayward youths who are victims of the civil war, and have become users of illegal substances, which among many other vices have caused some level of insecurity for residents of neighborhoods.”
Therefore, he said, “we seek your support in building a rehabilitation center which will enable us to train and reintegrate them in our society.”
Koijee also met with several local Japanese authorities, including potential partners and the Mayor of Nishinari Ward Minoru Yokozeki of Osaka City. Mayors Koijee and Yokozeki held a fruitful discussion with a specific focus on establishing Monrovia-Osaka sister-city-relationship.
Many of the delegates recounted the terrible Ebola crisis Liberia faced in 2014, which affected the whole country, with Monrovia being hit the hardest. They also cited the leadership deficit that the country has suffered and appreciated President George Weah for filling in that leadership gap, to lead a government by the people, for the people, and of the people.
“The Technical Deep Dive on Planning Safe, Inclusive and Resilient Cities” was organized in Japan by the Tokyo Development Learning Center and the World Bank, to develop a deeper understanding of a holistic approach that is required to plan safe, inclusive and resilient cities, with a focus on social inclusion and safety through investing in urban services and infrastructure, engaging citizens and building trust in local authorities, as well as through participatory approaches and tools, ensuring economic inclusion by connecting lagging neighborhoods to jobs.
The five-day technical deep dive on planning inclusive, safe and resilient cities brought together 13 selected countries and various experts from all over the world.