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Parliamentary and Local Council Town Hall meeting in Moyamba District

Parliamentary and Local Council Town Hall meeting in Moyamba District

Venue: MODCAR Resource Centre, Moyamba Town.  Date: 16th October, 2010.  Time: 12:00 pm

Overview: In his premier address to parliament on the 5th October 2007 the President Ernest Bai Koroma stressed the importance of accountability, transparency and higher performance standards in public service. At a retreat held in Bumbuna in January 2008 to share his vision with Ministers and other top government officials, the President further expressed commitment to strengthen separation of powers in government to ensure that democracy and the rule of law prevail during his five year tenure. He also emphasized the need for open channels of communication among the three organs of government and between these organs and the citizens. In view of this, Open Government Initiative (OGI) was borne with the aim of strengthening the mechanism for public information flow from the three branches of government while providing opportunities for public dialogue on development policies and programs.

In fulfilment of its mandate, the Secretariat embarked on a three-phase approach along the lines of the three arms of Government, the Executive (the Presidency), the Legislative (Parliament), and the Judiciary.

OGI has conducted thirteen successful interactive field trips since September 2008 with all focused entirely on the three arms of Government, (Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) with a view to coordinate further interactive dialogue between the Government and the people through Town Hall Meetings aimed at polling on attitudes in constituencies and media access while providing opportunities for the public to weigh in on the issues.

Our recently concluded activity was to successfully bringing the Diaspora and their elected President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma in the United States of America to discuss with Sierra Leoneans in New York, USA. Sierra Leoneans had the opportunity to explain, ask questions or just lend their voices to a dialogue session with the aim of promoting and supporting development in the country.

In the second week of October, 2010, using similar decentralisation approach, a town hall meeting will be held in Moyamba Town. This is being organized to elicit community participation in finding workable solutions to the problems affecting them.

Moyamba District is at a crossroads in all aspect of development that includes; health, education, Fishing, roads, youth and gender empowerment. Moyamba District has one of the best fishing and fertile soil facilities which can produce food, including fish and other vegetables to sustain it self if proper mechanisms and facilities are put in place that can support the rest of the country. Government after governments have promised to improve the agriculture and fishing sector but this is still to be a reality and therefore is of great concern to the people in Moyamba District.

OGI is committed to raise national awareness on this matter through structured discussions and productive engagement among the Parliamentarians, Local Council and the Moyamba District communities.

The specific objectives are;

I.    To ensure Citizens participation in governance and solicit their views about how they want to be represented.

II.   To improve and enhance Transparency and Accountability.

iii. To promote communication and common understanding between Parliament, the Local Council and the People.

Field Trip Goal

Foster civic responsibility and enhance active citizenry participation in governance for the overall socio-economic development of the nation.

Open Government Initiative, Freetown, Sierra Leone

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