Senator Amara Konneh

My remarks at the confirmation hearing of the appointees to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Capitol Building

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My remarks at the confirmation hearing of the appointees to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Capitol Building

Local governments are essential actors in economic development. They play a key role in the implementation of national economic development programs, and they also pursue local economic development policies to strengthen economic growth and reduce poverty.

The Local Government Act, passed by the 54th Legislature and signed by former President Weah, though a good law, focuses on service delivery rather than on local economic development policy to address the high poverty rate in Liberia.


  1. What are your plans for developing local government capacity and increasing decentralization to support local economic development?

As Minister of Planning, we launched the County Development Agenda (CDAs) in 2009 to guide the use of the County Development Fund (CDF) and Social Development Fund (SDF). Today, there are no CDAs, no CDFs, and the SDFs are not invested in inclusive county development plans, but rather ad hoc plans agreed on the fly-in county sittings with no impactful outcomes.


  1. If confirmed, will you reintroduce a best practice approach to local economic development?

Regional Peace and Justice hubs: As Planning Minister, I worked with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, and Liberia’s Development Partners, specifically the UNDP and the UN Peacebuilding Office in New York to introduce a regional approach to maintaining law and order in our country after our protracted conflicts. We completed the Gbargan Hub that housed a police station, court, and county attorneys that covered Lofa, Bong, and Nimba to give citizens access to justice. The last Administration didn’t see value in that vision to extend it to the rest of the country. As a result, local communities are providing their own security outside of the constitutional and governmental framework of our country through the Community Watch Forums and other traditional means.

Question 1. Do you believe the Community Watch Forum is legal and has the authority to arrest citizens who are alleged to have broken laws?

Question 2. If confirmed, will you champion the continuation of the regional Justice and Peace hub approach to justice and rule of law, and local economic development?

Finally, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) recommended in its final report the establishment of the Palava Hut Centers across the country with committees that will serve as foras for justice and reconciliation and help “restore” broken relationships at community and national levels.”

Question: If confirmed, will you implement the Palava Hut Centers across the country to help reconcile the country? 

Thank you!

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