Monrovia, Liberia: In a landmark move towards underscoring the Rule of Law needed to have access to justice, human rights, and building public trust through accountability and transparency, the Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) signed a strategic partnership agreement on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. CSA’s Director-General, Hon. James A. Thompson, and FBA’s Project Manager, Mr. Pär Sköld, signed on behalf of their respective agencies.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which symbolizes a new era of collaboration between the two entities, aims at infusing the Rule of Law with the professional development of civil servants and people working within the public sector through trainings at the CSA’s established Civil Service Training Center.
The Director-General of the CSA, Hon. Thompson, said in his remarks that it is a great privilege to have the presence of the Swedish ambassador, which adds more significance to the MOU, including the activities of the agency. “We are very excited about this collaboration, we have discussed on several occasions how to expand and new areas we can look at, but we are very impressed with what has happened so far”.
Hon. Thompson acknowledged the Folke Bernadotte Academy team through the Sweden Government for providing the basic concepts for building civil servants’ capacity in the Rule of Law. He also expressed optimism that the Rule of Law concept will add value to the kind of work that is being done at the agency and in the civil service in general.
Also speaking, the FBA-Liberia’s Project Manager, Mr. Pär Sköld, extended greetings from the FBA’s Director-General back in Sweden and revealed his DG’s willingness to visit Liberia in the not-distant future. Mr. Sköld continued by saying the FBA is focusing on three major areas, such as security sector reform, dialogue and peace migration, and the rule of law. He further mentioned that the promotion of creating democracy and respecting the rule of law will help to contribute to strengthening opportunities for transparency and accountability within the civil service sector. He later added that the agreement shares value for capacity-building efforts that will contribute knowledge to individuals as well as promote the integration principles of the Rule of Law in the civil service.
Witnessing the signing ceremony, His Excellency Urban Sjöström, Sweden Ambassador to Liberia, expressed delight that Sweden, through the FBA, is making a significant impact on the governance of Liberia in the area of the Rule of Law. “The Rule of Law is the foundation for everything”. His Excellency further reminded us that Sweden has been Liberia’s second-largest bilateral donor, covering human rights issues and gender equality, including several developmental issues.
The Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) is commissioned by the Swedish Government to work for peace, security, and development in conflict-affected countries, re-establishing links with civil servants across Africa as part of Sweden’s development aid, the Ambassador emphasized.
Highlighting the impact FBA has made, Director Claudius Broderick of the Career Management and Training Division said, “This partnership with the Folke Bernadotte Academy marks a significant milestone for the Civil Service Agency. Since the inception of the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the CSA has been able to establish the Civil Service Training Center.
He also mentioned that the FBA, working under the Swedish developmental strategy, aims to contribute to safeguarding human security and freedom from violence, adding that the Rule of Law is a foundation for development in Liberia.
Folke Bernadotte Academy, as part of its work, contributes to improved efficiency, increased transparency, and accountability, as well as increased collaboration between local, regional, and national structures. The initiative includes continuous dialogue with state actors and civil society organizations working to promote transparency and accountability.
The career management and training division of the CSA provides three key functions as follows: conduct capacity needs assessment at the CSA and guide CAN across MACs; develop an internal CSA capacity development plan and guide MACs to develop their own CDP; and develop and coordinate career management programs across the civil service.