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A high-level delegation from the Open Government Partnership (OGP), based in Washington D.C., the United States of America, is expected to arrive in Liberia next week to hold discussions with the Government of Liberia, civil society representatives and donor organizations.

Liberia joined the OGP in 2011 and has created two national action plans with 26 commitments ranging from access to information and public accountability to civic
participation.

It was formally launched on September 20, 2011 on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting, when eight heads of state, along with nine civil society leaders, endorsed the open government declaration and published the first cohort of OGP Nation Action Plans.

According to a release issued by the Ministry of Information, Culture, Affairs and Tourism, top on the agenda is how Liberians can harness the great potential of open government to help meet their most pressing needs.

The release said the delegation, headed by Sanjay Pradhan, chief executive officer of OGP, will hold a high-level meeting with President Johnson Sirleaf. The OGP’s chief executive officer also hopes to “discuss how OGP can continue supporting the Government of Liberia in becoming more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens”.

Other members of the OGP delegation include Theophilous Chivirus, Africa Government Support and Exchange Officer, Maureen Kariuki, Regional Civil Society Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East and Abhinav Bahi, Program Manager for Knowledge, Learning, Innovation and Capacity-Building.

The MICAT release further said Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe believes “OGP provides a vital framework for government and civil society to work together to create commitment that improve people’s lives”.

“We are very excited to be meeting with the OGP team and look forward to discussing how we can build on the progress already made by the government in creating greater transparency and accountability”, Minister Nagbe emphasized.

The Information Minister noted that government is especially keen to discuss how it can institutionalize open government in the country and develop transformative reforms in the new OGP National Action Plan”.

The open government partnership is composed of 75 national governments, 15 subnational governments, seven multilateral organizations, and thousands of civil society organizations.

Land ownership transparency is also a major focus and as a result of an OGP commitment, Liberia’s National Bureau of Concessions, together with international partners, launched an online platform where citizens can find land use contracts from all relevant commercial sectors.

Through another OGP commitment, the government’s concession information management system has increased land transparency by launching an interactive map-based platform that allows users to view commercial land claims and rights.

By: R. Joyclyn Wea

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