The Head of Secretariat received an invitation from the World Bank in March 2013 to serve as a panelist at the Annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, Washington DC, scheduled for April 8-11, 2013. The invitation was outlined in the Secretariat Update at the February and March 2013 MSG meetings with no objection noted.
While the general theme of theme conference was Moving Towards Transparent Land Governance, the Head of Secretariat was asked to serve as one of the panelists on the session titled: Closing the accountability loop: Towards sustainable mechanisms for transparence and participation. The Head of Secretariat provided insights on the LEITI experience around “the emerging trend towards increased disclosure in the land sector, particularly with respect to large-scale land acquisitions, and the opportunities and challenges that this poses for both governments and investors”. Given that Liberia includes agriculture under its EITI scope, the conference organizers was excited to hear the Liberia story around commercial agriculture. The session was chaired/moderated by Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President, World Bank.
- Hugette Labelle, Chair, Transparency International - Increasing Access to Information to Hold Governments and Investors Accountable
- Nirarta Samadhi, President Delivery Unit, Government of Indonesia - Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Large-Scale Investments: Lessons Learned from Indonesia’s Moratorium in New Forestry and Oil Pam Investments
- Tom Langan, Vice President, Unilever Transparency and Good Governance of Agriculture Investments: Perspectives from an Industry Leader
- Samson Tokpah, Head of Secretariat, Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) - Increasing the Transparency of commercial Agriculture: Lessons Learned from the Liberia EITI
The conference was attended by nearly 800 participants from the private sector, civil society, government, etc.
Travel and accommodation ($4,500) was covered by the World Bank under its Economic Governance & Institutional Reform Project (EGIRP). Per Government of Liberia Travel Guidelines, the Head of Secretariat was provided an additional $350 as incidental allowance.