Government plans to establish an annual regional management forum to identify and address critical issues facing the region, and to work with local stakeholders to set and deliver key priorities.
The National Regional Development Consultative Committee as the forum will be called is in keeping with the Ministry’s agenda, with regards to regional empowerment, Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan explained. It will also encourage cooperation between departments and with councils.
Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan accompanied by Minister within the Ministry Valerie Adams-Patterson, speaking with regional officials in the Committee Room in Parliament
Addressing regional officials recently at an engagement in Parliament, Minister Bulkan explained that, the forum will bring together all of Regional Chairpersons and Regional Executive Officers (REOs.) He said, “It (the forum) will be an exercise that will be focused on the management of our regions with particular emphasis on financial planning.” Further, “It will allow for interaction between all our RDCs and Central Government at the level of all of our Ministries, at the level of the programme heads,” the Minister said.
The forum which is set for early next year will become a regular feature of the Ministry. According to Minister Bulkan, “It is intended to be an annual forum where in subsequent years it would allow for our respective regions to report on activities and projects in the preceding year, and to speak to projects and activities in the ensuing year. So it will be a formal activity, where all the proceedings will be documented, so it will become a permanent part of the records.”
Consistent with regional empowerment, the Ministry will also roll-out another initiative, that is, the renaming of the region. Minister Bulkan said consultation on this process will begin in each region in early 2016. The renaming of the regions, Minister Bulkan said, “is part of creating greater regional awareness and regional pride,” whereby the regions are known by names rather by numbers.
He said that the opportunity would be afforded for persons to decide, “If the names that they currently have for their Regions is the one that they want to retain, or if they would like to have a new name.”
Additionally, Minister Bulkan said that the Ministry would move forward early in 2017, with the creation of regional flags. He explained that specimens for each region were disseminated to each of the RDCs in 2016.