BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – A series of nationwide consultations to develop the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda has ended after taking place in all 15 counties.
The consultation is being conducted by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning with support from the United Nations Development Program. The goal is to produce a similar document such as the Agenda for Transformation that served as former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s development plan.
Five teams from the Finance Ministry traveled across the 15 counties over the course of 9 days to hold the consultations, which ended on May 9. The teams focused on the Coalition for Democratic Change’s four pillars: power to the people, economy and jobs, sustaining the peace including governance and transparency.
In Buchanan, a team headed by Sidiki Quisia, the regional director for sectoral planning, conducted a two-day consultation with over 50 participants drawn from the five electoral districts of Grand Bassa.
Quisia, who was also responsible for conducting similar meetings in River Cess and Sinoe, said the consultation aimed to obtain citizens’ thoughts about what they wanted to see in the Pro-Poor Agenda. The Buchanan participants prioritized education, youth development, agriculture, health, infrastructure, and economic growth.
Commissioner John Lewis of Kporkon Administrative District, who attended the program, said the Pro-Poor Agenda should improve the lives of the ordinary people and not only the rich.
“What we are hoping to see is the improvement of the livelihood of the poor people, especially those in rural Liberia – I mean hard-to-reach areas – who walked long distances to seek medication, acquire education, and even sell their produce,” Lewis told The Bush Chicken.
Paramount Chief Moses Korweh, said he wished to see the government hastily implement the agenda once a final document is produced, as there are several problems faced by rural dwellers across the country, such as bad road conditions, lack of jobs for the youth, and proper medical care.
The Pro-Poor Agenda, when completed, will be validated to ensure that the expectations, recommendations, and suggestions of the citizens are properly captured. Although consultations in Liberia, and with Liberians living in the U.S. have ended, other meetings are scheduled for Liberians residing abroad – in countries such as Ghana, and Belgium. The final document is expected to be out by June 30.
Featured photo by Sampson David