Decentralization/Federalism: Accra Peace Agreement

PART EIGHT: POLITICAL ISSUES: ARTICLE XVI: ESTABLISHMENT OF A GOVERNANCE REFORM COMMISSION

1. A Governance Reform Commission is hereby established. The Commission shall be a vehicle for the promotion of the principles of good governance in Liberia.

2. The mandate of the Commission shall be to:

(d). Ensure subsidiarity in governance through decentralisation and participation;

Implementation History

2003

No Implementation

Decentralization did not occur in 2003.

2004

No Implementation

Governance Reform Commission was established in February 2004.1 On March 31, 2004, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was confirmed as Chairman of the Governance Reform Commission (GRC) by the National Transitional Legislative Assembly (NTLA). According to a news report, other members of the commission were Former Interim President, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Dr. George Klay Kieh, a presidential hopeful of the New Alternative of Liberia (New Deal Movement) and former Planning and Economic Affairs Minister, Francis Carbar.2

The GRC did impressive work and focused on three key areas with the intent of drawing up a 30-year blueprint for a shared national vision for the future of Liberia. These key areas included public sector reform and local governance reform through decentralization.3 As such, decentralization remained a priority in the agenda of the GRC; however, decentralization did not actually occur in 2004.

  • 1. "Liberia; JPC Boss Chairs Elections Commission As Govt. Constitutes Five Commissions," Africa News, February 2, 2004.
  • 2. "Liberia; Assembly Confirms Ellen As Governance Reform Chairperson," Africa News, March 31, 2004.
  • 3. "Liberia; Reform Commission Sketches Liberia's Future, Forecasts 30-Year Blueprint," Africa News, July 16, 2004.
2005

Minimum Implementation

It was reported that in its work, the GRC promoted decentralization and a very robust consultative process in its reform agenda.4 But decentralization as governance reform did not take place in 2005.

  • 4. "Liberia; Ellen Sums Up Development Agenda, Africa News, September 19, 2005.
2006

Concrete steps were not taken with respect to decentralization. In 2006, the UNDP published a concept paper that suggested that there was a need for beginning financial management at the county and district level as efforts towards decentralization.5

2007

Minimum Implementation

In August 2007, the Liberian government, as a result of the utility of the GRC, extended its commission and granted it a permanent institution, as Governance Commission (GC). The commission’s members were said to work in the areas of "inclusive, participatory, and just system of governance and decentralization of development."6

  • 6. "Liberia; Government Seeks to Increase Power of Influential Commission," Africa News, August 27, 2007.
2008

Minimum Implementation

No further information is available regarding the extent of which the decentralization of governance took place.

2009

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2011

Minimum Implementation

No further developments observed.

2012

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.