The grant agreement was signed on today at the LEITI Secretariat in Monrovia, with Mr. Samson S. Tokpah, Head of the LEITI Secretariat signing for the LEITI and Juliane Weymann, Advisor of the GIZ Regional Resource Governance Project in West Africa, signing on behalf of her institution.
The project, the Secretariat says, will be a two-day event, comprising of a symposium and debate. The debate will take the form of a ‘knockout’ competition in which students from the ten high schools currently participating in the LEITI e-Club (Extractive Club) program will engage one another in arguments on issues around the extractive sectors, while the symposium will enable students to listen to practical discourses on transparency and accountability in the natural resource management to be delivered by selected experts. Winners of the competition will be awarded various prizes including certificates of participation, medals and internship at the LEITI Secretariat. The proposed participating high schools include B.W. Harris, St. Teresa’s Convent, G.W. Gibson and W.V.S. Tubman. Others are Jimmy Jolocon, Haywood Mission Institute, Len Millar, Isaac David and Caver Mission.
This program, the Secretariat says, will primarily increase citizens’ participation in the resource debate and ensure that national policies and decisions increasingly reflect their views and concerns, especially young people who constitute a greater majority of the population and whose future would be determined by those decisions. The debates are expected to be held mid May 2013.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, LEITI Head of Secretariat, Samson S. Tokpah said, the LEITI is the first country to have introduced such youth development program in the global EITI Community, followed by Trinidad and Granada, and lately, Nigeria. He said this further confirms the LEITI record as a pace setter in the EITI implementation.
Mr. Tokpah further expressed gratitude to the GIZ Family, noting, the gesture does not only confirm the German Government’s passion to support the LEITI, but also shows its strong commitment to supporting peace and development in Liberia. Reflecting on the many support the GIZ has been providing the Secretariat recently, Mr. Tokpah named the GIZ funding towards the hosting of a similar debate program last year; the creation of the LEITI Resource Center; and the e-Club Program amongst others. “We are aware that the many gains the LEITI has made over the past years would not have been possible without the contributions of partners such as the GIZ, African Development Bank and others”, Mr. Tokpah concluded.
In response, Juliane Weymann, Advisor of the GIZ Regional Resource Governance Project in West Africa, pledged her institution’s continuous support to the LEITI process even beyond the “Validation” Process. The LEITI goes to Validation in 2014, a kind of assessment that will determine whether or not Liberia can retain its EITI complaint status.
The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) is an autonomous agency established through an Act of the Legislature, to promote the transparent management of Liberia’s extractive resources. It is a tripartite arrangement governed by a Multi-stakeholders Steering Group (MSG), consisting of representatives of the Government of Liberia, civil society organizations, the private sector, and Liberia’s development partners.