The Leadership Development Initiative (LDI), a South Africa-based development think-tank, with Chapter in the United States (US), in collaboration with the Better Future Foundation (BFF), Green Cities INC. and Harvest International Institute of Technology has concluded an organizational governance workshop in Monrovia.
Aimed at enhancing organizational management, proper and sustainable operational systems as well as good governance and its components of accountability, transparency and probity, the workshop recently brought together more than 30 participants including heads of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Business Executives and Corporate Boards.
Other participants included Representatives of Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Youth Based Organizations (YBOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) Women Based Organizations (WBOs) Private Volunteer Organizations (PVOs), among others.
Mr. Taiwo ‘TK’ Ilesanmi, Executive Director of LDI, who for over 30 years has been involved with promoting good corporate governance and organizational management and leadership in Africa and beyond served as the lead facilitator of the seminar which was held at the American Center of the United States Embassy near Monrovia.
According to a press release issued by BFF in Monrovia, the training which was the first of its kind in Liberia was in response to the capacity gaps created in almost all sectors of Liberia’s development process.
BFF attributed the situation to Liberia’s decade-long armed conflict that ended in 2003 but terribly affected its socio-economic fabrics.
According to the BFF release, building the capacities of local NGOs and FBOs to conform to good governance practices particularly in the face of the departure of UNMIL and other international NGOs from the country is cardinal to complementing government’s development agenda.
Cllr. Bendu Clarke, who represented the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs at the occasion, lauded the organizers and the facilitator, Mr. Taiwo ‘TK’ Ilesanmi, for extending his capacity-building workshop to Liberia.
Cllr. Clarke indicated that good governance is essential whether in an organization, community, home or institution and that the Government of Liberia (GoL), through the Ministry of State, remains passionate about good governance and leadership training for development in the country.
She said to ensure national development; there is a need for training in all strata of the country including business, agriculture, security, peace-building among others.
“Organizational governance and leadership training helps the Country and this is exactly what the whole development agenda of the government is about,” she added.
“If you don’t even have Governance in your house, the house will fall apart. So, it is very important for better living, development, and every other thing that you can think about to have the country going” she stressed.
She told the workshop participants: “Knowledge acquired from this organizational governance workshop should be used for the betterment of the country”.
For his part, Bishop John Kunkun, President of Liberia Ministers of Full Gospel expressed excitement about the governance and leadership capacity-development exercise initiated by LDI and its collaborating partners.
Bishop Kunkun indicated that the organizational governance workshop was very cardinal as it was a major source of knowledge and experience sharing by both participants and facilitators.
Mr. Raymond Ziama, Director of NGO Coordination Unit, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, at the occasion made a thematic presentation on the Functional Roles and Responsibilities of the NGO Coordinating Unit.
He named coordination of NGOs activities, strengthening of the partnership between the Government of Liberia (GoL) and NGOs, and ensuring that NGOs’ programs are aligned with GOL national development priorities among others as the core mandate of the Unit.
He also lauded the organizers of the workshop who accorded him the honor to not only attend the workshop as a participant but to especially make a presentation on the Functional Roles and Responsibilities of the NGOs Unit of the Government of Liberia.
He expressed the hope that his presentation to NGOS and civil leaders will enhance their capacities to implement programs consistent with the Liberian government’s development priorities and NGOs’ reporting obligations.
Mrs. Mariama Brown, Chairperson, Board of Directors of Concerned Christian Community (CCC), appreciated the organizers for successfully mobilizing what she calls the “People of Heart” for participation in the governance workshop.
She described the assembly as “quite rewarding and rich in material content for improved professional governance in participants’ respective organizations.”
Other speakers who made remarks included Cllr. Mark Marvey, author of the acclaimed and Award Winning book: “All Nations Are Equal at Least on Paper;” Youth Activist, Abraham Freeman, Executive member of the Liberia Boys Scout Association all of whom commended the organizers and facilitators for the initiative.
At the end of the seminar, certificates of merits were presented to individual participant by the workshop facilitators including Prof. Debey Sayndee, Director of Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation of the University of Liberia; Taiwo ‘TK’ Ilesanmi, Executive Director of LDI and Raymond Ziama, Director of NGO Coordination Unit, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
Speaking on behalf of the US Embassy, Mr. Belvis O’diaji, Director of the American Center of the United States Embassy near Monrovia, during presentation of certificate to participants, said in closing remarks that capacity building of Liberians is part of the core daily mandate and function of the American Center.
Director O’diaji on behalf of the Embassy, headed by Ambassador Christian Elder thanked organizers of the Organizational Governance Workshop, saying “the Embassy was delighted to host the event; and challenged participants to utilize the knowledge acquired to promote the development of Liberia.”