Paynesville City Mayor Cyvette M. Gibson was yesterday inducted as president of the Association of Mayors and Local Government Authorities of Liberia (AMLOGAL) at a program held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia.
Her 10-person administration will steer the affairs of AMLOGAL for the next two years. Madam Gibson said AMLOGAL will function to embrace all local authorities to build their capacities to become part of the government’s decentralization program.
She said soliciting support from stakeholders and partners will be “our key strategy towards achieving this goal.”
“In this regard, we will work with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-A) to put in place a full-fledged secretariat in six months, including hiring a robust, dedicated, and effective administrator with strong implementation skills to lead the secretariat,” she said.
The secretariat will begin the implementation of “our five-year medium-term strategic plan under our leadership. During the same period, we will strive to obtain a Legislative Charter for AMLOGAL to enable it to have the appropriate status deserving of such an organization in the eyes of the Liberian society and the international community,” said Gibson.
She said her leadership will engage the MIA to initiate the drafting of an act to be submitted to the Legislature.
Mayor Gibson called on the MIA, UCLG-A and Cities Alliance to organize a one-week team building and resource mobilization training workshop for quick impact skills development and capacity building of the twenty city mayors who are the nucleus of AMLOGAL.
“I assure our partners that the burden of financing this organization will not be your obligation. The first line of funding for AMLOGAL will be a one percent assessment of our individual city budgets which will be contributed as the annual membership dues,” Madam Gibson said.
The secretary general of the UCLG-A Secretariat, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, pledged the organization’s support to the Liberian chapter.
“I want to thank you for your clear vision, objectives and core values as mayors, who have led the formation of this body. I urge you to push your government to sign and ratify the Local Government Chapter. Since 2014, your government has yet to sign or ratify that agreement,” he noted.
In remarks, the senior urban specialist of Cities Alliance, Mr. Omar Siddique, promised his organization’s commitment to providing financial support to the new AMLOGAL leadership.
He disclosed that Liberia has become the 41st country in Africa to organize the local government association, stressing that this will further promote development at the local level.
MIA’s Deputy Minister for Urban Affairs, Mr. Stephen Y. Neufville, said AMLOGAL will be a catalyst bringing many development benefits to Liberia as it paves the way for knowledge sharing among sister cities.
Among the visitors at the occasion were Vice President Joseph Boakai, House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, Speaker, Pro Tempore Armah Z. Jallah, Internal Affairs Minister Henrique Tokpa, Deputy Minister at MIA Stephen Neufville, and GSA director general Mary T. Broh.
Others were Mr. Ngouelondele, Acting President of African Mayors & local Authorities/Mayor of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, Parks Tau, World President of Mayors & Local gvt Assoc, Republic of SA, Clare Short, Chair of Cities Alliance Mgmt Board and Mr. Farid Zarif, SRSG.