Senator and Chairman, Planning and Economic Affairs Committee, Liberia
Decentralization, Reconciling Economic Policy and Institution-Building Goals, Balancing the Central and Local
corruption, decentralization, patronage, property rights, spoilers
Mon Jul 20 2009
Franklin Siakor, the senator for Bong County, Liberia, talks about his efforts in capacity building and pushing for legislative reforms aimed at promoting good governance. He discusses the training and support received from the National Democratic Institute, the United Nations Development Programme and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration during capacity building. Along with his colleagues, Siakor worked on passing the Land Reform Act, the anti-corruption bill, and the Community Rights Law through the senate. He relates how the government established anti-corruption and land reform commissions to deal with the respective issues. He also reveals his involvement in the decentralization of the government structure, political authority and financial management of resources. He discusses the challenges of implementing these reforms: lack of government officials willing to support the changes, lack of transparency, delays during bill passage, lack of a monetary system and capacity at the local level, and personal involvement of government officials in the land issue, which complicated the land reform process.
At the time of this interview, Franklin Siakor was junior senator for Bong County, Liberia. He ran for the office as an independent candidate in the 2005 elections. He was chairman of the Planning and Economic Affairs Committee, co-chairman of the Maritime Committee and the Posts and Telecommunication Committee, and a member of the Ways, Means and Finance Committee and the Judiciary Committee. Siakor holds a master’s degree in developmental studies. Prior to his election to the Senate, he was director of a non-government organization, Development Education Network of Liberia. Much of his time in this position was spent educating the public about development, leadership and good governance. He was also involved in numerous other community service projects.