– In Its Development Drive
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The Liberia Institute of Architects (LIA) has vowed to work with the Liberian Government in its Development drive. Speaking to reporters at the ongoing convention of LIA 2018, the president said as the LIA continues to advance its aim to become a truly professional body, it is very mindful that this goal embraces the need for the principles and objectives by which the institution exists and remains relevant to the society at all times and in every aspect.
Sylvanus O’Connor said ” this, we are committed to doing, partly through the conventions we hold periodically as platforms to inform, raise awareness, educate, share knowledge, exchange information and most of all influence decision making, hopefully at the highest decision-making levels. Making decisions that improve our lives as a people and nation is imperative.”
The 2018 Convention is under the theme: Architecture and sustainable progress in the context of the pro poor agenda.”
According to O’Connor, the theme of the convention is heavily loaded because it has been crafted with the aim of contributing to the unfolding narrative that is being built around an idea seen and considered to be of necessity for Liberia’s development based on an approach founded on a principle that seeks to be all inclusive and enabling in addressing the individual and collective needs of the nation.
“At the end of the day, the LIA hopes that the thoughts and ideas that emanate from this convention will contribute to the national dialogue on how to position Liberia firmly on the path of durable and sustainable development. The theme by virtue of its operative words and construction sets out the framework for the message through presentations that the LIA hopes to send out in this convention and the post-convention discussions that will follow,” he said.
The LIA boss said the core thrust of the convention is built around the utilization of Architecture (engineering and planning) as inseparable development tools which when properly applied are capable of bringing immense value to the society’s quality of life and the assets it creates as the means to that end.
“The need for a pro poor development agenda for Liberia cannot be overstated, by any means. Like most of Africa, the prognosis for Liberia’s development success is closely tied to its ability to cope with a rapidly growing population that is significantly youthful, high rate of urban migration, unmatched civil infrastructure and utility services, poor and adequate housing conditions and high employment.
“These conditions lead to and sustain poverty closely followed by acute environmental degradation. The much-publicized projection from this trend that in the near future most Africans will reside in cities and towns than in the countryside is therefore justifiably alarming, especially where appropriate actions are not taken with deliberate anticipation,” he added.
He further noted that cities and towns continue to provide the platform that drives the pursuit of human advancement.
O’Connor said “from this standpoint, it is imperative that utmost attention is paid to ensuring that our cities and towns are humane, functionally geared to enhancing our life sustaining activities as well as the social and cultural interactions that take place within them and help to maintain harmony. No doubt, where many people from diverse backgrounds, origins, beliefs and aspirations must live within a share common space the issue conflicting interests will abound. In such instances our willingness, ability and capacity to manage and govern with the goal of equity in mind will be severely tasked.”
He also said the convention will heighten the need to incorporate more and better architecture, engineering and planning into details being worked out for implementing the pro poor agenda.
“Indeed, much has been said and recorded on the subject of Liberia’s past development strategies having been less than successful at establishing inseparable linkages between spatial planning and economic development planning,” he said.
According to him, in advocating for architecture, the convention’s activities demonstrate the Liberia Institute of Architects’ desire to have the pro poor agenda embraced and implemented from the standpoint of architecture and planning all inclusive.
The 2018 convention of LIA is taking place at the Monrovia City Hall with several motivational speakers.